Research Repository

Our Digital Footprint under Covid-19: Should We Fear the UK Digital Contact Tracing App?

Guinchard, Audrey (2020) 'Our Digital Footprint under Covid-19: Should We Fear the UK Digital Contact Tracing App?' In: Ferstman, Carla and Fagan, Andrew, (eds.) Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. University of Essex, 269 - 276. ISBN 978-1-5272-6632-2

034.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (965kB) | Preview


With the objective of controlling the spread of the coronavirus, the UK has decided to create and, since 5 May 2020, is live testing a digital contact tracing app, under the direction of NHS X, a branch of NHS Digital, and with the help of the private sector. Given the lack of details as to what the app will exactly do or not do, there are fears that the project will increase government surveillance beyond the pandemic. While I share these concerns, I argue that we need to simultaneously tackle one of the most significant, yet overlooked, contributors to the problem of government surveillance: our inflated digital footprint, stemming from our use of digital technology, and the basis of ‘surveillance capitalism’, a business model left largely unchallenged, which results in surveillance, and stems from the non-compliance with data protection laws. A systematic enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the private sector would disrupt the current dynamics of surveillance which are hidden in plain sight.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2020 12:53
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 14:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item