The Saga of the Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps: Lessons for Data Governance
15 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2020 Last revised: 21 Sep 2020
Date Written: July 7, 2020
This note selectively unpacks the rapid evolution of the (Western) debate around the opportunity to deploy contact tracing apps, alongside other digital tools such as apps for symptoms sharing and immunity certificates to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemics. I do so from the perspective of a social scientist interested in the implications of the development of digital tools at times of emergency in terms of data governance. I argue that a more articulated reflection is needed towards the development of a healthy institutional structure that regulates the role of large tech platforms, such as Google and Apple (G&A), and public institutions, in governing data, particularly when health data and public value are involved. I unravel the saga of contact tracing apps in the UK and EU, looking at the technical, legal and ethical aspects and I attempt to draw more general lessons for data governance.
Keywords: Contact tracing apps, data governance, digital applications, digital exclusion, public trust
JEL Classification: O33, O36, O38, L51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation