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Norwegian language media reports, social media entries, expert communication, government reports, and public health communication. It also builds on my ongoing work on tracking devices, digital bodies and experimentation in humanitarian aid.6 I am a native Norwegian speaker and all translations are my own. Methodologically, this mapping exercise has been an almost impossible project, with events overtaking scholarly analysis at every turn. However, I believe that capturing the development and critical reception of the Smittestopp app in real time, and as it unfolded, can be a valuable starting point for academic analysis and policy evaluation of this particular app, as well as of the COVID-19 tracing app ecosystem and its discontents. From late April, the lockdown was gradually eased, coinciding with the launch of the Smittestopp app. Culturally and politically, much of the response and the success of social distancing rules have been organised around a widespread trust in government and public health authorities, particularly the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI). Central here is the deeply ingrained cultural concept of dugnad derived from the old Norse dugnaðr meaning unpaid and voluntary work carried out collectively.7 Norway has a highly advanced digital economy, and Norwegians are quick and trusting technology adopters.8 On April 16, after about a month of research and development, the Norwegian government launched the Smittestopp app,9 developed by the governmental research company Simula on behalf of the FHI.10 The objective of the app was to ‘see who has been in the proximity of infected persons, thus helping to curb transmission.’11 In the official communication, Smittestopp was presented as ‘an app that helps the health authorities curb transmission through anonymised information about movement, which is then used to develop effective infection control measures.’12 Prime minister Erna Solberg stated that ‘Personally, I believe that if we are to get our everyday life and freedom back, as many people as possible need to download the app.’13 The FHI poster for the app proclaimed that ‘Together, we can Dispatches

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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