I've been writing this week on both the benefits of innovative tech in helping us manage and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the risks to personal privacy these applications pose.
This balance is particularly tricky in the U.S., where individual freedoms and privacy are the very foundation of much of our legal, regulatory and governmental systems. This is a public policy issue we need to start discussing quickly, because the needs are here and now, as are the means to deal with them - we cannot put it off. Toward the end of this article is a start - four guidelines to striking this balance:
1. Data anonymization
2. Purpose limitation
3. Knowledge-sharing and open access data
4. Time limitation
While these ideas are pretty high-level at the moment, they strike me as a reasonable framework to start the conversation. How can we implement these sorts of protective standards while still gaining the benefits that AI, blockchain, machine learning, and other technologies can provide to broader society?
While the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated several innovative use cases, as well as the urgency for the governments to do their utmost to stop the spread of the virus, it is important to not let consideration of fundamental principles, rights and respect for the rule of law be set aside.