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Protecting communities during the COVID-19 global health crisis: health data research and the international use of contact tracing technologies

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journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2022, 00:00 authored by Toija CinqueToija Cinque
AbstractSeen presently during the global COVID-19 global health crisis are the ways government agencies are enabled by digital data collection through the development of contact tracing technologies (CTT) and mobile-based tracking in their effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. While recent research has focused on contact tracing and privacy (Simko et al. 2020. Contact tracing and privacy: studying opinion and preferences), contact tracing and data protection (Abeler et al. 2020. JMIR mHealth uHealth 8(4): e19359) contact tracing system and information security considerations (Gvili, 2020. Security analysis of the Covid-19 contact tracing specifications by Apple inc. and Google inc), CTT and the data collected and curated have not been framed to date via their intersections with health-datafication and the research participant. As this article outlines, each is strongly linked to public health, healthcare industries and to modalities of capturing and producing knowledge that is expected to help in addressing public health concerns. Where different countries and regions are implementing a range of social distancing and/or social isolation recommendations, some have introduced contact tracing and quick response (QR) barcodes on mobile device apps. To additionally explore access, uptake and use that accompany such technologies, the International Responses to COVID-19 Contact Tracing: COVID-19 APP Uptake and Use Survey was developed and used with participants living in Singapore, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. The article concludes that in the process and counter to the common good or public interest objective that all are kept safe, new forms of risk and exposure are being produced.



Humanities and Social Sciences Communications





Article number



1 - 11


Nature Publishing Group


London, England





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal