ACM’s Europe Technology Policy Committee has issued detailed principles and practices for the development and deployment of contact tracing technologies intended to track and arrest the spread of COVID-19. Europe TPC’s statement calls on governments that adopt such systems to choose “only those which, by technical and legal design: respect and protect the rights of all individuals; safeguard personal data and privacy to the highest degree technically possible; and are subject to scrutiny by the scientific community and civil society before, during and after deployment.”
The Committee’s principles and practices address five critical areas of policy: technical architecture, development transparency, expert oversight, legal safeguards, and public engagement. Key recommendations include making contact tracing applications:
- voluntary for members of the public to use (individual “opt-in”);
- internationally interoperable;
- subject to oversight by multidisciplinary committees of experts;
- strictly limited in their use and data collection by clear legal safeguards; and
- available for formal comment by the public and civil society.