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ON PRIVACY VERSUS HEALTH Vidushi Marda

Technological solutions to COVID-19 have reignited a conversation about the relationship between privacy and public health. As contact-tracing apps (see chapter by Kitchin), large-scale data analytics (see chapter by Wang), and repurposing of old technologies for new uses (see chapter by Cruz-Santiago) gain traction, the relationship between privacy and health is being framed as a choice. This is an oversimplification at best, and a distraction at worst. An oversimplification, because it assumes that limitations on privacy are a binary, i.e. privacy can either be absolutely guaranteed or non-existent. This is not the case. The fundamental right to privacy is recognised under international human rights law, and many (though not all) national legal frameworks. It is not, however, an absolute right. It can be subject to reasonable and proportionate restrictions that are strictly and narrowly defined under international law. The (similarly) false dichotomy of privacy versus health ignores these established legal standards when it pushes for unfettered surveillance and executive power in the name of emergency response (see chapter by Eenmaa Dimitrieva et al.). It cloaks

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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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