As public health experts seek to monitor the spread of COVID-19 across communities, contact tracing applications have emerged as digital solutions to this pressing issue. This webinar explored European and American approaches to COVID-19 contact tracing, discussed what applications are being deployed, and how to ensure privacy protections for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.
Thursday, July 2, 2020
9:30 AM PT / 12:30 PM ET / 18:30 CET
- His Excellency Stavros Lambrinidis, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States.
- from California: The Honorable Eleni Kounalakis (Lieutenant Governor of California), leading California’s efforts to identify and limit COVID-19 cases with “California Connected.”
- from Brussels: Mr. Jakub Boratyński (Director, Digital Society & Trust, DG Connect, European Commission), leading the coordinated European approach to the COVID-19 contact-tracing applications in Europe.
- from Berlin: Mr. Martin Stork (Vice President, Strategic Programs, SAP), directing SAP’s work on the German “Corona Warn-App” launched on 16 June.
- from Missouri: Mr. Jared Maslin (Global Data Privacy Manager, Slalom), directing Slalom’s efforts to support data privacy and related COVID response and contact-tracing efforts underway across states, both domestically and globally.
- Moderated by Ms. Evi Fuelle (Advisor, Digital Economy Policy, EUDEL Washington).
At the end of May, California launched “California Connected,” the state’s comprehensive contact tracing program and public awareness campaign, as part of ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Across the Atlantic, on April 16, the European Commission released "Guidance on Apps supporting the fight against COVID 19 pandemic in relation to data protection," to ensure that the rapid development of contact-tracing apps would be voluntary, transparent, secure, and interoperable. To support and further streamline the implementation of contact-tracing applications, the European Commission plans to set up a "gateway service" that will serve as an interface to efficiently receive and pass on relevant information from national contact tracing apps and make them pan-European.
On June 15, with the help of SAP and Deutsche Telekom, Germany released its "Corona-Warn App," which reached 13 million downloads within a week. German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly stated that "the Corona-Warn-App is an important tool when it comes to tracing and breaking down chains of infection."
Tracing apps must be voluntary, transparent, and secure, but perhaps most importantly, interoperable, so that widespread, voluntary take-up of tracing apps can support the relaxing of confinement measures and lift restrictions on citizens' freedom of movement.
This discussion focused on “lessons learned” and “next steps” for both the American and European approaches to COVID-19 contact-tracing applications.