Thursday, July 09, 2020

Law Library of Congress Report on Regulating Electronic Means to Fight the Spread of COVID-19

The Law Library of Congress in Washington recently published a report on Regulating Electronic Means to Fight the Spread of COVID-19:
"This report surveys the regulation of electronic means to fight the spread of COVID-19 in 23 selected jurisdictions around the globe, namely Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union (EU) (...)"

"Many governments have turned to electronic measures to provide information to individuals about the COVID-19 pandemic, check symptoms, trace contacts and alert persons who have been in proximity to an infected person, identify 'hot spots,' and track compliance with confinement measures and stay-at-home orders. Dedicated coronavirus apps that are downloaded to an individual’s mobile phone, the use of anonymized mobility data, and creating electronic databases are the most common measures. However, it is unclear whether such digital solutions by themselves are sufficient to contain the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends using digital proximity tracking only as a supplement to other measures such as increased testing and manual contact tracing."

"Most of the surveyed jurisdictions have developed one or several dedicated coronavirus apps with different functionalities, such as general information and advice about COVID-19, symptom checkers, and contact tracing and warning. In order to be effective and provide accurate information, the applications need enough data, meaning enough people need to download the app. Some countries had low download rates, or, as in the case of Norway, only initial high enthusiasm. Other problems observed were technical glitches in computer systems that led to false information being reported, which happened in Russia, where people were erroneously fined or fined several times. In the UK, there were reports that the app was unable to work properly if another app was being actively used."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2 and a half million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Over the years, it has published dozens of comparative law reports which are a treasure trove for legal research on a huge variety of issues.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:16 pm


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