How Countries are Using Apps to Track the Coronavirus


Governments worldwide involved in developing their own APPS TO CHUCK CORONA virus. Most of these rely on some source of tracking albeit anonymously but the speed and the lack of regulation surrounding. This new technology means that critics are accusing. Governments are creating surveillance networks. How will these be regulated? Howlett stand place. While I'm joined now by Josh Kohl's WHO's a researcher at the University of Oxford Internet Institute? Good morning to you josh. All the types of APPs being developed at state level. Well the main focus of the government's creasing opposite moment seems to be around this idea of tracking and tracing contact between potentially infected people Using the small things which go so many of us carry around in our pockets these days and that is potentially a really powerful tool But as you suggest it does raise a whole host of privacy and security concerns in addition to the Kiowa questions around how effective such can actually be an intensive actually developing ups. Shouldn't this be the work of big companies? I mean all we essentially saying government and tech swap places. It's it's a very interesting time. In in that respect it is a sense in which we may be seeing companies acting as protectors the Coleman goods in certain sentences at least in respect to creating Privacy protecting apps like apple and Google have recently done Working together on the F. Whereas government seemed to be taken quite a cavalier approach just here in the UK recent report suggests that the NHS is in a standoff with Apple and Google. Because they want the they used to have slightly more power Slightly less protect uses rights in order to try the disease as effectively as possible so we have seen a really interesting switching places. Where Tech as adult to this a perch of. Let's work together for the common good And then You know the other hand you governments who while you're doing it kind of Moose also break things. Although the reason for that. I'll pretty understandable. I mean it would have been unheard of but pre virus for for apple and Google to work together in this way. Wouldn't it? I think I think it would have been yeah. We certainly saw quite fist rivalry between the two companies which has now been temporarily set aside because we should stay too much the the differences between the two Sectors at the moment I mean one hand we have government sweating for obvious reasons to To try and spread of diseases quickest possible to protect people's lives and livelihoods and tech companies will oversee returned to that role as a Cheaply or into tools profit making Onc- crisis passes But it is interesting to compare the approaches to see how similar in some ways governments f. It's the moment of me for example. I mentioned effectiveness earlier around these contact. Tracing APPS experts. Think that at least you know. Folk upset maybe. Sixty eight percent of population needs to use the particular APP for it. Touched have any effectiveness and not kind of interestingly mirrors the the approach taken by tech companies in recent years to gaining market share in social networking. Can we see in a facebook and Google another battling it out for supremacy in that because they to realize that in peacetime if he will have the greatest? Sheriff people on the network is the most important thing so clearly some of the some of the techniques used governments. Now a quite similar to those used by tech Just a few years ago Philip. C V very different purposes. But of course all those companies are meant to abide by strict rules on security and privacy. We've seen so many rouser about facebook and an and other a big groups affected by this. These concerns seem to have fallen by the wayside somewhat during the crisis. Certainly as far as the government's concerned they do I think. Embarrassed countries As a state in quite a cavalier approach and And yes certainly. In the areas of privacy anonymity on consents They're all some serious. Chris being raised about various. Hsa Australia's got them for. Example is facing questions around. Its contact. Tracing out on whether it will be open unable available scrutiny by outside groups a particular danger As we think about government's role in this is that after the crisis Towards the end of the crisis these tools could be extremely. He's who for things like law enforcement and just as today we might be trying to trace contacts between people who have the disease tomorrow it might be trading of people suspected of crimes secluded as a A big incentive Or big importance associated with government setting out very clearly Not just How long these tools will be in use but also what the uses will be. I mean we know that China has made great strides and controlling the virus. But this kind of surveillance that you're describing been commonplace there for some time and I wonder about the relationship there between big tech and government. Can you in fact separate the two when you when you look at China? It's certainly much founded to do The the role that many of the Chinese big tech companies have in relation to the government is Sonny close as than it is in the West while it has quite a few counter examples. I mean South Korea which is a democracy has also been using a British Felli invasive to track it citizens as well The big the big ability for governments courses. I have a lot of sense of state to another typical administrative data which they could potentially use to link up to Contact TRACING APP so although the common standards being deployed for example by apple and Google at the moment seems to be designed to be. Decentralized PROTECT USES ANONYMITY. Economists actually know who it is who's infected at Atlema large-scale When you do Co. Cross-reference this database with existing debt. You have about people where they live and so on and it does create a really powerful penalties. Can you could call it a full ability to track citizens across the country so whatever reason and just quickly before we go josh. How far are we off developing something like that for here in Britain I think then it just for like three quite far along the way. Senator Government is keen to get up and running very quickly. There is a bit of a standoff right now. Between and all the government agencies and apple and Google This previously protecting standard which may in practice limit the effectiveness of the. Nhs's up. So I think it will be a few weeks until we really see how that plays practice in with a up legal willing to rank the restrictions on the stood out people to plug out. They want to deploy

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