a digital data collection platform to better manage epidemics

In a pandemic context where data collection and surveillance systems are multiplying, and where the recommendations of the CNIL recall that these devices must be limited to the fight against this epidemic, senators defend the establishment of a digital platform which could allow “ready-to-use” surveillance to better respond to future epidemics. Thursday, June 3, a report was presented by the senatorial delegation for prospective, for the establishment of such a digital collection platform of data.

“More intrusive” technologies, but very targeted and limited in time to avoid confinements during the next pandemics

According to this delegation, made up of Senators Véronique Guillotin, Christine Lavarde and Mr. René-Paul Savary, the countries which have used the most screening and vaccination files, drones, thermal cameras, and other digital technologies in the management of the Covid-19 epidemic have “by far counted the fewest deaths”. “We based ourselves on Asian examples or on Estonia and overall we can see that each time the data was used in a sufficiently intrusive manner, the crisis was shorter,” explains Véronique Guillotin. As the Covid-19 epidemic is “neither the last, nor undoubtedly the most serious of the years to come” we could catch up with “more intrusive” technologies, but “very targeted and limited in time” . These monitoring mechanisms should save us from “putting the whole country under a cover” and thus regain freedom more quickly during a next pandemic. “One of the lessons to be learned from the health crisis is the complexity of developing tools against the wall without this generating an anxiety-provoking nature” notes Mathieu Darnaud, president of the senatorial delegation for prospective. In the event of a crisis, this platform would make it possible to target vulnerable people, take measures that concern them and avoid global containment measures, explains René-Paul Savary.

Crisis Data Hub: a ready-to-use “toolbox” that can be adjusted according to the severity of the pandemic

This platform would be called “Crisis Data Hub” and would take the form of a crisis platform, which can be activated according to the scale of the epidemic. Citizens could have a version of this platform on their laptops that would integrate functions today present in various tools such as Tous Anti Covid, Ouisncf, Waze, Vitemadose, etc., today without interoperability. The rapporteurs imagine a graduated application: information and coordination tools in the face of a “moderate” crisis, call-to-order tools (such as sending an SMS) in the event of a more serious situation, and stronger and more intrusive measures for large epidemics, with for example the deactivation of the transport ticket or the bank accounts of a person who violates the quarantine.

Cross-data, used wisely, not to limit freedoms

According to this commission, the collection of data extended to other epidemics would not be a means of breaking our freedoms but on the contrary, would preserve us from a general loss of freedom as during the confinements of the Covid-19 epidemic. Such a data collection platform would allow confinements by region. To ensure data security, the platform should be open source, “so that everyone can verify that it is doing nothing other than what it is supposed to do.” According to René-Paul Savary, the French leave their data at the disposal of GAFA, but they do not want to entrust their data when the time comes to protect themselves and others. “If a large majority of users let Facebook and Google collect their data, why not organize a collection in the hands of the State in order to better manage pandemics?” ask the promoters of the device. “Mentalities must change and this must be done in times of peace, and not in times of crisis. »Concludes René-Paul Savary.

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