Title: New digital public health tools: privacy by design in contact tracing mobile apps for COVID-19

Authors: Boštjan Koritnik; Peter Merc

Addresses: Ministry of Public Administration, Republic of Slovenia; Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana, Tržaška cesta 21, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia; Poljanski nasip 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia ' Lemur Legal d.o.o., Breg 14, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract: The technology adoption cycle in the public sector is usually much longer than in the private sector. The COVID-19 pandemic caused an acceleration in the adoption of various digital tools which serve as a bridge between the public and private sector. These digital tools include instantaneous contact tracing mobile applications (apps) used to alert individuals who have recently been in contact with an infected person and used by governments to manage public health policies. From the perspective of individuals' data storage there are two general possible approaches, namely centralised and decentralised. Each approach has some legal and ethical considerations, mostly related to finding the right balance between the individual's privacy and public health. In this paper we will outline how privacy according to the design principle should be applied as a minimum standard when developing government approved contact tracking apps.

Keywords: technology; public sector; digitalisation; COVID-19; contact tracking applications; blockchain; Bluetooth technology; personal data privacy; data security; digital surveillance; digital public health technologies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPSPM.2022.123707

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management, 2022 Vol.9 No.4, pp.399 - 410

Received: 04 Jun 2020
Accepted: 09 Sep 2020

Published online: 01 Jul 2022 *

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