CRISP counter-COVID contributions

Advice, insight and action (and alliteration)

As the pandemic continues into 2021, we thought we’d have a look back at the counter covid contributions CRISP members made last year.

We start with Janis Wong, who has tackled data protection policy and practice relating to Online Learning brought about by the pandemic.  Janis conducted empirical work which examined how a data commons approach could raise student awareness of data protection as they engage in online study. Janis presented her work at the Harvard research sprint in AI and Digital Ethics in October 2020, the ‘Data for Policy’ conference (with Tristan Henderson and Kirstie Ball), the Creative Commons Global Summit and the Open Education Policy Forum (both with Tristan Henderson). Anuj Puri spoke about 'Post pandemic simveillance' at the Future Privacy Forum in October. The forum focused on Responsible Uses of Technology and Health Data. 

Another forum, one which is organized by CRISP - The Scottish Privacy Forum - was consulted about the privacy and data protection implications of the Test and Protect Covid-19 App before it went live in the autumn.  William Webster has published a piece for the journal Information Polity which summarises the impact of COVID on the Information Polity in twenty one countries around the world.  Kirstie Ball, drawing on EU wide research results, has been blogging about the importance of principled governance in any surveillant responses to COVID which involved Smartphone Location Tracking.  Charles Raab is Co-investigator on a project called  'PATH AI: Mapping an Intercultural Path to Privacy, Agency and Trust in Human-AI Ecosystems'. The project has spent many months researching the responses to COVID-19 in the UK and Japan and studying them in terms of analytical frameworks. As part of the Alan Turing Institute's Data Ethics Group, Charles has also worked in a subgroup that is considering the ethical dimensions of the COVID-19 response.

South of the border Pete Fussey advised the Joint Committee on Human Rights about contact tracing apps. Pete also took up an invitation to participate in a Government Office for Science group “Rebuilding a resilient Britain: Supporting post-Covid recovery”  fronted by Patrick Vallance, the UK Chief Scientific Advisor, working in a subgroup focused on trust in public institutions.  Pete's research on the uneven impact of surveillance practices across different social groups and implications for intrusive public health monitoring is reflected in the official reporting of this group.

Top CRISP counter Covid honours must go to Steve Reicher.  Prof Reicher is a member of the UK Government's Behavioural Sciences Sage subcommittee and Independent Sage.  After a well received Guardian article in May 2020 and several follow up media appearances, he has emerged as one of the most credible and articulate intellectual voices holding the UK Government to account over their COVID response.  Check out Steve's Twitter account and the Independent Sage weekly briefings for his latest views and updates.  I really wanted to use his Twitter sub-title at the top of this article, but that would have been a bit off. I'll put it at the bottom instead:

"Let's go early, let's go hard and let's get this baby". 

Stay safe everyone