My recent talk at the IAPP CapeTown/Johannesburg KnowledgeNet was around privacy, ethics and trust in the time of COVID-19. Here is some additional reading.

1. I feel like I am stuck in a movie

‘We’re working very hard to find out where this virus came from. To treat it and to vaccinate against it if we can. We don’t know all of that yet, we just don’t know. What we do know, is that in order to become sick you have to first come in contact with a sick person or something that they touched. In order to get scared, all you have to do is to come in contact with a rumour, or the television or the internet. I think what Mr. Krumwiede is uh… is spreading, is far more dangerous than the disease.’ – Dr Ellis Cheever (aka Laurence Fishburne), Contagion (2011)

2. What is happening now?

The IAPP has a page for COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

Privacy International is tracking the global response to COVID-19. You can access all of the information here.

GDPR Hub is also keeping track of all the projects using personal data to combat SARS-CoV-2. 

3. Should privacy even matter right now?

Yes. ‘The crisis offers an opportunity to demonstrate our shared humanity. We can take extraordinary efforts to fight this pandemic that are consistent with human rights standards and the rule of law. The decisions that governments make now to confront the pandemic will shape what the world looks like in the future.’ – Human Rights Watch

4. Some ethical frameworks to consider

This framework was developed by the World Economic Forum in relation to facial recognition, but they advocate for its use during the pandemic.

The Institute for Ethical AI & Machine Learning developed the 8 principles of responsible ML development. 

Our favourite is this report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics called Research in global health emergencies which you can download here. 

5. What are the data protection regulators saying?

A lot. You will find a comprehensive list of resources on this page created by the Future of Privacy Forum.

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