Regulating Personal Data Usage in COVID-19 Control Conditions
42 Pages Posted: 22 May 2020
Date Written: May 22, 2020
As the COVID-19 health pandemic ebbs and flows world-wide, governments and private companies across the globe are utilising AI-assisted surveillance, reporting, mapping and tracing technologies with the intention of slowing the spread of the virus. These technologies have capacity to amass and share personal data for community control and citizen safety motivations that empower state agencies and inveigle citizen co-operation which could only be imagined outside times of real and present personal danger. While not cavilling with the short-term necessity for these technologies and the data they control, process and share in the health regulation mission (provided that the technology can be shown to be fit for purpose), the paper argues that this technological infrastructure for surveillance can have serious ethical and regulatory implications in the medium and long term when reflected against human dignity, civil liberties, transparency, data aggregation, explainability and other governance fundamentals. The paper commences with the case for regulation recognising crisis exigencies, after which it reiterates personal data challenges, then surveys policy and regulatory options to equitably address these challenges.
Keywords: data use, data privacy, COVID-19, coronavirus, data protection, ethics, civil liberties, data aggregation, data sharing, cybersecurity
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