Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing and COVID-19: Who Is (Not) Free to Go?
Ethics and Information Technology, Doi.org/10.1007/s10676-020-09544-0
29 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2020 Last revised: 9 Jul 2021
Date Written: May 28, 2020
Digital tracing technologies are heralded as an effective way of containing SARS-CoV-2 faster than it is spreading, thereby allowing the possibility of easing draconic measures of population-wide quarantine. But existing technological proposals risk addressing the wrong problem. The objective is not solely to maximise the ratio of people freed from quarantine but to also ensure that the composition of the freed group is fair. We identify several factors that pose a risk for fair group composition along with an analysis of general lessons for a philosophy of technology. Policymakers, epidemiologists, and developers can use these risk factors to benchmark proposal technologies, curb the pandemic, and keep public trust.
Note: Funding: Michael Klenk was supported by the Niels Stensen Fellowship. Hein Duijf received funding from the ERC-2017-CoG Project SEA. no. 771074.
Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, digital ethics, fairness, digital contact tracing, active responsibility
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