Global health surveillance research blog

13 May 2020

Smartphone tracking, currently in use in some countries as a counter-measure to the coronavirus pandemic, is the focus of a blog by Professor Kirstie Ball for the surveillance studies journal Surveillance & Society.

In Why governments and corporations need to demonstrate principled authority in the face of global health surveillance, Ball and her co-authors draw on findings from their EU-wide study.

The research showed that reluctance and opposition on moral and ethical grounds around data protection, privacy and benefit to the community must be addressed in order for large numbers of citizens to accept smartphone tracking.

The blog urges full transparency and regulation for health surveillance, with the crucial aspects of trust and human rights fully addressed.

Radio stations Kingdom FM (Tuesday 12 May 2020) and Radio Scotland (Wednesday 13 May 2020) interviewed Ball about the research in light of current public policy discussions.

Read University of St Andrews news story: Public concern about smartphone location tracking to combat Covid-19.

a woman on a plane is taking a picture out the window on her phone

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash