Public Health, Digital Responses and Human Rights

As countries around the worldgrapple with the COVID-19 crisis, governments, businesses and academics have turnedto digital technologies and tools in their efforts to counter the pandemic. Mobile location data has been employed to monitorpopulationmovements, while digital contact tracing is touted as a useful approach to notifying people who have been exposed to those carrying the virus. Digital tracking tools are also deployed to monitor compliance with lockdown and quarantine executive orders. Some countries are even looking into issuing digital certificates to people who have recovered from COVID-19in orderto support the easing of lockdown measures. These digital measures may be integral parts of effective solutions but they are also often intrusive –and hold the potential for adverse impacts on data protection and a broad range of human rights, from the right to privacy, to the rights to freedom ofassociation and peaceful assembly, to work, liberty of movement and also the right to health and the right to life.While the COVID-19 pandemic clearly raises the level of a public health threat that may justify restrictions on certain rights, all such measures must be lawful, necessary and proportionate, time-bound and justified by legitimate public health objectives.This webinar is the fifth and final in the “Digital Cooperation during COVID19 and beyond” series. In this edition we will discuss the broad range of digital technologies deployed or under consideration in the fight against COVID-19 and how these tools may help to protect and promote human rights. In particular, the discussion will focus on requirements for a human rights-based design and deployment of digital technologies and measures, such as the principles of legality, legitimacy, necessity and proportionality. OHCHR and WHO are the strategic partners of this webinar

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