Born to help reopen international travel routes, digital COVID certificates are now required in several countries to enter premises such as bars, restaurants, gyms, pools, and museums, and to attend large public events. But do they work — and what for, precisely? More fundamentally, is it even possible to have an evidence-based debate about them at all? Tracing The Tracers looked at the lessons we should learn from the available literature, with the help of a stellar group of researchers.
In an interview with AlgorithmWatch, Prof. Susan Landau discusses why we need to resist fear in the face of pandemic uncertainty and the normalization of health surveillance technologies — and why the time to have a broad democratic discussion about their future uses is now.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many smartphone apps were launched to complement and augment manual contact tracing efforts without a priori knowledge of their actual effectiveness. A year later, do we know if they worked as intended? An analysis of early evidence—from both the literature and actual usage—by AlgorithmWatch finds that results, so far, are contradictory and that comparability issues might prevent an informed, overall judgment on the role of digital contact tracing apps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic altogether.
Amid a chaotic rollout of the national vaccination plan, the Italian Federation of General Practitioners (FIMMG) and some regions in Italy are resorting to algorithms to more efficiently priorities who gets vaccinated against COVID-19.
A global debate has sparked around the idea of implementing a digital infrastructure to prove a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status across borders. But as the initiatives multiply across Europe and all over the globe, an international consensus is hard to reach — and issues still abound.
'Automated Decision-Making Systems in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A European Perspective', by AlgorithmWatch and Bertelsmann Stiftung – a special issue of the Automating Society Report 2020, we published in October 2020.