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 TO THE PANDEMIC RESPONSE? Rob Kitchin

The coronavirus pandemic has posed enormous challenges for governments seeking to delay, contain, and mitigate its effects. Along with measures within health services, and public health measures such as social distancing, selfisolation, quarantining, and lockdowns, a number of countries have sought to implement a range of digital technologies solutions—including smartphone apps, facial recognition and thermal cameras, biometric wearables, smart helmets, drones, and predictive analytics—to limit the spread of COVID-19.1 The Irish government is presently developing a combined contact tracing and symptom tracking app. In this short essay, I outline the Irish approach to developing this app, initially named CovidTracker Ireland. At least two other similar apps have been developed in Ireland: a contact-tracing app, Tracing Ireland’s Population (TIP), produced by private enterprise,2 and a symptom tracking app, MyCovidSymptons, developed by university researchers and a data start-up.3 Neither has been endorsed by the government and will likely wither on the vine. In addition, there have been calls for other tech-led solutions to enable a lifting of restrictions, such as the trade union SIPTU’s call for temperature testing of workers before accessing meat and food processing plants.4

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Profile for Meatspace Press

Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives  

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how social, economic, and political power is created, exerted, and extended through technology. Through c...

Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives  

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how social, economic, and political power is created, exerted, and extended through technology. Through c...

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