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Technological Solutions for Screening and Geolocation of COVID-19 Infected People: A Country Comparison Approach

Fernando Almeida
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Abstract

Introduction: As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, governments are seeking solutions to mitigate contagion. These initiatives use technology to control the movement of infected people, particularly from mobile phone monitoring. This manuscript intends in the first stage to carry out a brief overview of these initiatives at the global level. After that, it aims to identify the main challenges posed by these apps in monitoring the individual's health data and explore good practices that may prove fundamental for the uptake of these solutions on a large-scale.

Materials and Methods: This study employs a qualitative methodology to perform a review on technological solutions for screening and geolocation of COVID-19 infected people. Five countries have been selected considering the different approaches in the implementation of these technological solutions. Four fundamental principles for the evaluation of these solutions such as consent, proportionality, transparency, and security were considered. Through this approach, it has become feasible to identify and discuss the challenges and best practices in the implementation of these solutions. 

Results: Although these applications publicly assume that they guarantee people's fundamental rights this information becomes insufficient. It is necessary to evaluate these solutions specifically considering fundamental principles such as consent, proportionality, transparency, and security. The existence of an independent body authority that can audit these solutions is relevant, besides the voluntary adherence to these applications.

Conclusion: The way these solutions are implemented and imposed in these countries is quite different. The absence of mechanisms to measure how data is stored and processed raise concerns among people. Accordingly, the large-scale adoption of these tools requires that people's fundamental rights be duly considered from a multidimensional perspective.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30699/fhi.v10i1.270

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