Contact tracing apps and human rights – the role of the business sector to prevent a digital rights pandemic
On 11 March 2020, with over 294,000 cases worldwide, Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). In order to reduce the contagion and following WHO recommendations, states have implemented non-pharmaceutical measures and conducted outbreak investigations, including contact tracing and management, surveillance and visualisation of chains of transmission.
These activities have been supported by new technologies, such as geolocalisation apps, facial recognition and AI-based software for the enforcement of quarantine. This is the first pandemic in which technology can support the containment and mitigation of the contagion and its deployment presents new challenges, together with great opportunities.
These are data-intensive tools and, while the right to privacy is clearly being restricted, all human rights could potentially be affected. Moreover, contact tracing apps are often the result of a public-private partnership and the private sector can and should play a fundamental role in promoting a proportionate and rights-compatible response to this global health crisis.
This Webinar will focus on contact tracing apps and technologies deployed to address Covid-19 and on their impact on human rights. The following issues will be discussed:
- The existing models of contact tracing apps and their potential impact on human rights
- Human rights safeguards under international law (legality, necessity and proportionality test)
- The role of the business sector in the promotion of rights-compatible responses to the pandemic