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

See all articles by Michael Klenk

Michael Klenk

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management; University of St. Gallen - Institute for Business Ethics

Hein Duijf

VU Amsterdam

Date Written: May 28, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Klenk, Michael and Duijf, Hein, Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing and COVID-19: Who Is (Not) Free to Go? (May 28, 2020). Ethics and Information Technology, Doi.org/10.1007/s10676-020-09544-0, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3595394 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3595394

Michael Klenk (Contact Author)

Delft University of Technology - Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 5015
2600 GB Delft
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.michael-klenk.com

University of St. Gallen - Institute for Business Ethics ( email )

Girtannerstrasse 8
CH-9010
St.Gallen, St. Gallen 9010
Switzerland

Hein Duijf

VU Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

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