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UvA scientists express concern about corona apps

Dirk Wolthekker,
17 april 2020 - 12:24
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Over sixty scientists have signed a letter sent to the cabinet about the use of health and a track-and-trace apps for tracking the corona virus. UvA professors have also signed the letter.

The scientists say it’s important to take a critical look at the necessity, effectiveness and impact of apps on the social system ‘including our fundamental rights and freedom. Whether we like it or not, these apps will set a precedent for future use of comparable invasive technologies, even after this crisis’.
The letter was signed by UvA scientists such as Natali Helberger, Beate Roessler, Tobias Blanke, Tom van Engers and Julia van Weert. Last week, senior lecturer European Health Law Anniek de Ruijter told Folia that it is more important than ever to be aware of excessive restrictions on fundamental freedoms. ‘Protection of private life, privacy and personal data is super important in order to maintain government trust, ’she said.
Use of such apps should be a decision guided by experts in the field of app development, but also in the fields of law, social sciences, behavioural sciences, ethics, the health domain and systems science,’ the scientists write. ‘In any case, the use of all apps and technologies related to the Corona crisis must be temporary, proportional, verifiable and transparent. We should use them only if strictly necessary’.


Find the letter here (in Dutch).