ACM CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY, INTEROPERABILITY, PRIVACY, AND SCRUTINY IN COVID CONTACT TRACING

Corona Tracing App
Corona Tracing App

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

 

 

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Gerhard Schimpf, the recipient of the ACM Presidential Award 2016, has a degree in Physics from the University of Karlsruhe. As a former IBM development manager and self-employed consultant for international companies, he has been active in ACM for over four decades. He was a leading supporter of ACM Europe, serving on the first ACM Europe Council in 2009. He was also instrumental in coordinating ACM’s spot as one of the founding organizations of the Heidelberg Laureates Forum. Gerhard Schimpf is a member of the German Chapter of the ACM (Chair 2008 – 2011) and a member of the Gesellschaft für Informatik. --oo-- Gerhard Schimpf, der 2016 mit dem ACM Presidential Award geehrt wurde, hat an der TH Karlsruhe Physik studiert. Als ehemaliger Manager bei IBM im Bereich Entwicklung und Forschung und als freiberuflicher Berater international tätiger Unternehmen ist er seit 40 Jahren in der ACM aktiv. Er war Gründungsmitglied des ACM Europe Councils und gehört zum Founders Club für das Heidelberg Laureate Forum, einem jährlichen Treffen von Preisträgern der Informatik und Mathematik mit Studenten. Gerhard Schimpf ist Mitglied des German Chapter of the ACM (Chairperson 2008 – 2011) und der Gesellschaft für Informatik.


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