Security and privacy
The context of how artificial intelligence affects our rights as digital natives is worth unpacking, especially during political and public health crises, where online communication is a lifeline for many, and citizens are possibly being subjected to government surveillance and manipulation.
Many nations are considering proposals to use digital technologies to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. This joint statement calls on the OECD to ensure the protection of privacy and other fundamental human rights in the use of these technologies.
Technology has become a crucial part of the COVID-19 response, and this has raised some serious questions: Can privacy and public health security go hand in hand? Is it enough to use safeguards such as transparency and the use of intrusive technology only when absolutely necessary?
Data Protection Africa is an online open-access portal that provides information on data protection laws and access to data protection authorities in 32 African countries. The portal is now available in 18 languages, country pages have been updated, and various new features have been introduced.
Many countries today are turning to digital technologies to provide information as well as for monitoring and controlling people infected with the virus, which alerts us to the potential impact of these technologies on people’s fundamental rights.
Over 100 organisations from around the world signed a joint statement stressing that digital surveillance to fight COVID-19 can only be justified if it respects human rights, and setting out conditions that must be met before the use of surveillance technology to fight the pandemic.
The extent to which African countries are conducting technology-based disease surveillance is not fully known. While well intentioned, Covid-19 surveillance and data-based tracking interventions have been effected in haste, and with limited precedent and oversight mechanisms.
The coronavirus pandemic isn’t a purely medical issue, it entangles all aspects of human lives, including our privacy, protection and dignity.
As governments around the world attempt to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases, authorities appear to be looking towards technology for support. Chatbots, online dashboards, and mobile caller tunes are some of the digital strategies put on display by officials to raise awareness around Covid-19.
7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media warns of Israel committing mass violations of digital rights, especially the right to privacy, under the pretext of managing the health crisis caused by the coronavirus.