Analyzing the Human Rights Impact of Increased Digital Public Health Surveillance during the COVID-19 Crisis

Health and Human Rights
Volume 22, Issue 2, December 2020
https://www.hhrjournal.org/volume-22-issue-2-december-2020/

 

Special Section: Big Data, Technology, Artificial Intelligence and the Right to Health
Analyzing the Human Rights Impact of Increased Digital Public Health Surveillance during the COVID-19 Crisis
Sharifah Sekalala, Stéphanie Dagron, Lisa Forman, and Benjamin Mason Meier
The COVID-19 pandemic has led policy makers to expand traditional public health surveillance to take advantage of new technologies, such as tracking apps, to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This article explores the human rights dimensions of how these new surveillance technologies are being used and assesses the extent to which they entail legitimate restrictions to a range of human rights, including the rights to health, life, and privacy. We argue that human rights offer a crucial framework for protecting the public from regulatory overreach by ensuring that digital health surveillance does not undermine fundamental features of democratic society…