ACM CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY, INTEROPERABILITY, PRIVACY, AND SCRUTINY IN COVID CONTACT TRACING
Brussels, Belgium May 7, 2020 – Today, the ACM Europe Technology Policy Committee (Europe TPC) of the world’s largest society of computing professionals, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), has released detailed principles and practices for the development and deployment of “contact tracing” technology intended to track and arrest the spread of COVID-19.
In an accompanying statement /1/, the Committee calls on governments that choose to adopt such systems “to use 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 all contact tracing applications:
- entirely voluntary for members of the public to use (individual “opt-in”);
- internationally interoperable;
- open source and developed using a transparent process;
- 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.
/1/ Link to the ACM document: https://www.acm.org/binaries/content/assets/public-policy/europe-tpc-contact-tracing-statement.pdf