COVID Digital Surveillance: Common Legislative Protections for Proximity Apps, Attendance Tracking, and Status Certificates (Part I) (Presentation Slides)

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy Session: ‘COVID-19 and Privacy in Asia, Australasia and Europe’ 23 June 2021 (Presentation)

8 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2021

See all articles by Katharine Kemp

Katharine Kemp

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - UNSW Law & Justice

Graham Greenleaf

Independent Scholar

Date Written: June 23, 2021

Abstract

This presentation to the UN Special Rapporteur’s conference on the Right to Privacy Session: ‘COVID-19 and Privacy in Asia, Australasia and Europe’ was given on 23 June 2021. Katharine Kemp presented this first part, and Graham Greenleaf presented a second part at https://ssrn.com/abstract=3875920.

Three forms of COVID data surveillance are considered:
(1) Proximity Tracking – Typically via Bluetooth signal; Tracks proximity to another person (device), not location.
(2) Attendance Tracking – Typically via QR Codes; Tracks attendance and time at required venues; Sporadic location tracking, not continuous.
(3) COVID Status Certification – . Can be electronic (app) and/or paper; Records vaccination history and/or COVID test history; Aka immunity / vaccine passports / certificates or ‘Green Certificates’.

The data collected by each of the 3 forms of surveillance may be either:
• Distributed on user devices – for example: Apple/Google Bluetooth proximity app; QR Codes at venues that only update ‘digital diaries’; COVID status data that is static until user chooses to update (also paper copies).
• Stored centrally – for example: Australia’s COVIDSafe Bluetooth proximity app; All Australian State/Territory QR Code systems; COVID status apps that always update from central database .

Our argument (in the second part) is that legislative protections based on common principles are needed for all types of COVID surveillance, including those that are compulsory, and involve centralised storage of personal data. Australia is an example of a country where compulsion or centralisation cannot effectively be challenged in court as a breach of fundamental rights.

This part focuses on privacy risks of these three types of COVID surveillance, with illustrations from their use in Australia.

Keywords: COVID-19, Australia, privacy, data protection, proximity tracking, attendance tracking, status certificates

Suggested Citation

Kemp, Katharine and Greenleaf, Graham, COVID Digital Surveillance: Common Legislative Protections for Proximity Apps, Attendance Tracking, and Status Certificates (Part I) (Presentation Slides) (June 23, 2021). UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy Session: ‘COVID-19 and Privacy in Asia, Australasia and Europe’ 23 June 2021 (Presentation) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3878659 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3878659

Katharine Kemp

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - UNSW Law & Justice ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Graham Greenleaf (Contact Author)

Independent Scholar ( email )

Sydney
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham/

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