Phase 2, experts, su app serves supranational coordination – Technologies


A supranational coordination is needed to harmonize the conditions of use of the app for the tracing of new coronavirus infections: the digital ethics experts of the University of Oxford Jessica Morley, Josh Cowls, Mariarosaria Taddeo ask in a letter published in the journal Nature and Luciano Floridi.

In addition to privacy, the researchers write, the collection of sensitive personal data must consider fundamental ethical aspects such as equality and equity. This means that the app must be able to work regardless of the technical characteristics of the device being used and the type of connection. In this perspective, for example, the World Health Organization (WHO) is developing an application for the poorest countries. Solutions applicable throughout Europe have been requested by the European Data Protection Supervisor (Gepd).

Certainly, the researchers note, the urgency of the app has forced us to work in a hurry, and for this reason it is appropriate that they are called supervisors, as happened in France, Italy and Great Britain. According to experts, there are at least four principles to be respected: the app must be a necessary, proportional, scientifically valid and time-limited tool and propose 16 key questions to which developers must answer. “Is tracking contacts with the app ethically justifiable?” is one of the questions, together with the questions that investigate whether membership is voluntary, if the data is confidential or if it is used only for prevention purposes.

The use of this tool will have to be absolutely correct because, the authors of the letter note, “governments may not have a second chance” and “bankruptcy could now compromise public confidence in the future”.


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