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Title: Democracy and the politicization of personal health data: the Norwegian Smittestopp case
Authors: Brown, Katherine S.M.
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Infrahealth 2021 - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Infrastructures in Healthcare 2019
Series/Report no.: Reports of the European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies: vol. 5, no. 4
Abstract: In early 2020, at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many countries developed and introduced contact-tracing apps. These apps use one or more of several cell phone capabilities to notify citizens when they should enter self-quarantine because of close contact with an infected individual. Norway released a contact tracing app called Smittestopp in April 2020 which, though initially widely used, was also met with criticism for the way it handled personal health data. Shortly after Amnesty International issued a press release calling the app a surveillance technology, it was rescinded, and a different solution developed. This paper discusses Smittestopp as an example of the politicization of personal data in the context of a state of exception, in this case the covid-19 pandemic. The combination of the politicization of personal data and a miscalculation of how long the pandemic might last contributed to the app’s negative reception both domestically and internationally. The paper argues that while the case did present a short-term challenge to Norway’s democratic institutions, the context of the state of emergency coupled with other actions the Norwegian government has taken to curb infection rates indicates that these challenges were temporary and not a serious threat.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.18420/ihc2021_014
ISSN: 2510-2591
metadata.mci.conference.location: Kristiansand, Norway 23-24 September 2021
Appears in Collections:InfraHealth 2021: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Infrastructures for Healthcare

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