The third installment in the Global Pandemics in an Unequal World Webinar Series.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the expanded use of new digital technologies such as contact tracing apps and localization data used to model and monitor the pandemic. Their use by both authoritarian and democratic governments can invoke images of dystopian “Big Brother” digital surveillance - as well as utopian hopes the technology will help curb the pandemic and allow us to return to normal. Against this landscape, the panel will address key questions such as the following:
- Will digital innovations introduced during the crisis lead to more digital surveillance post-pandemic?
- Does their use advance the interests of private tech companies at the expense of the public interest?
- Can benefits be equitably distributed?
- Will these new technologies really help power us out of lockdowns? Or are they also a distraction from other, critical low-tech public health solutions?
The discussion will be moderated by Katerini Storeng, Associate Professor and Deputy Director of Independent Panel on Global Governance for Health, Centre for Development and Environment, University of Oslo.
- Sean McDonald, Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Waterloo, Canada, and co-founder of Digital Public
- Susan Erikson, Professor, Simon Fraser University, Canada
- Stephen L. Roberts, Assistant Professor, University College London, UK
- Manjari Mahajan, Associate Professor of International Affairs & Starr Professor and Co-Director of the India China Institute, The New School