Contact tracing in COVID times

Last week I was invited to participate in an online debate on European approaches to contact tracing software development and deployment. You can find out more information about the event or just watch the full panel debate.

This was a fascinating conversation but I was getting quite concerned for two reasons. First, nobody seems to have a good answer to what is the purpose of these apps, going even so far as saying “because we have this technology so then we can just do… something” (see end of the video). Second, there has been a lot of debates on the privacy, security, economic and legal concerns with these apps, but so very very little reflection on the social implications of these apps, and those can really be devastating.

Contact tracing tech can be really useful, but it needs to be done carefully and certainly not just because our governments really want to be seen “doing everything possible”.