Already a few days old, but still up-to-date about the facts. Tracking apps can’t replace adult behaviour and social distancing. Doesn’t matter if it’s done voluntarily or enforced by whoever that might be – state, reason or fear.
“Coronavirus–related tech experiments in Europe are having their own issues. Researchers are torn over how to implement privacy protecting contact tracing. A report on one such app under development in Germany, found it could “only be installed on up-to-date Apple and Android phones, which will reduce its coverage to roughly 60-65 per cent of the general population,” says Sven Herpig, director for international cybersecurity policy at Berlin-based thinktank SNV. People may not want to be part of these infrastructures, or not have the means to join. If apps don’t work and scale, at some point we may have to decide to go non-digital.”
“None of the apps rolled out in China are replacements for traditional epidemic-fighting strategies such as human-led contact tracing – identifying those who fall ill, finding those with whom they have recently been in contact, and quarantining them. Despite the attention given to the health code, the country’s virus mitigation strategies are rooted in boots-on-the-ground management. Tech experiments have been layered over other epidemic-fighting infrastructure, so judging their utility is difficult. Often left out of the conversation is at what point tech applications become useful, and when they are no longer. “We don’t have proof that any of it really worked,” Herpig says.”
“The health code is far from a silver bullet. Ultimately, what generates a green code is the commitment of individuals to stay at home for 14 days, and residential committees, which manage apartment compounds, to manage their designated inhabitants. But even as a pass to help with reopening, it has returned many to some level of normalcy.”