Enjeux de la traçabilité des contacts (proximity-tracing)

Ce matin sur Matrix…

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Quelqu’un à proposé une traduction en français sur ce pad.

Code 46 … ce film m’avait vraiment marqué !

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hi! thanks hk for invite
FR our mon article https://www.makery.info/2020/04/17/covid-19-new-forms-of-rationality-and-liberation/

I’m making a weekly series of “lockdown diary” while observing this hard time in south of italy. today busy releasing a big letter regarding privacy and the “app”

next week will post to continue my diary and analysis, very happy to read insights, can read french so keep me posted!

p.s. about medium yes, its a tactical use of mainstream media, must say it works fab for the purpose of interacting with people who do not think like me

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I am as other persons very worried that only a technological and privacy discourse is envisioned when discussing discussing covid tracking applications. Obvious social and political issues are as always hidden by technological solutionism. Those who say yes we need them to be able to trace back contagion and therefore we need them to be privacy respecting and secure, obviously have no notion of how society is organized.

Again we are into a exchange between experts only males who are very certain of their knowledge. But unfortunately, while there are more men then women who are victims of covid, there are more women then men who are contaminated, guess why?.. Because they do the jobs that we need and that cannot stop.

I think the most important debate we should have about covid tracing apps is their capacity to provoke a general strike. Really, I mean it, if anyone sick from covid in a worker’s plant brings all the persons that have been in contact with him/her in confinement, at home not going to work anymore, and this all over the world despite borders, then an interesting situation starts forming.

Unfortunately I do not think this will happen, not even are we going to have a conversation about this possibility, and things will continue the way they are rich people protecting themselves from covid and poor people being contaminated. How does this work as an argument to counter an epidemy, what is the next step with this kind of reasoning, separating the poor people so they cannot contaminate the rich ones? In the current context justifying the use of tracing technologies is criminal because it hides the real needs.

Supporting covid tracing apps is supporting a form of technological solutionism that allows governments to escape their responsibilities which are among other things:

  • support health professionals,
  • provide proper material to protect the populations, including tests,
  • stop politics that favors pharmaceutical industry and private sector,
  • engage in meaningful cooperation towards the organization of research and the distribution of supplies.

These actions are the ones that can help us to live through the situation that we are enduring now, this is what we learned from our experience in facing VIH. 1 contamination, tracing is discriminatory in essence as the measures are not applied equally to different population, but also it prevents the conscientiousness of communities, hinders their capacity to claim for their rights as the government justifies its existence by implementing population tacking rather then organizing care.

We do not want tracking, we want tests masks, and hospitals.

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Je constate une fois de plus que en Belgique la gestion de cette crise est un peu plus sensée qu’ailleurs.

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Hugo Roy vient de faire passer une communication de la Commission Européenne parue au journal officiel de l’Union le 17 avril 2020 relative à la traçabilité des contacts :

Orientations sur les applications soutenant la lutte contre la pandémie de COVID-19 en ce qui concerne la protection des données (2020/C 124 I/01). (This link goes to multiple languages)

Un article sur les risques de mésusage des applications de traçage indépendemment de la question de leur anonymité:

Conclusion de l’article (mon emphase) :

Le premier alinéa de l’article 1 de la loi de 1978 a survécu à toutes ses révisions et évolutions. L’urgence que nous ressentons collectivement face à notre situation actuelle ne doit pas nous le faire oublier : « L’informatique doit être au service de chaque citoyen. […] Elle ne doit porter atteinte ni à l’identité humaine, ni aux droits de l’homme, ni à la vie privée, ni aux libertés individuelles ou publiques. »

Bruce Schneier, cited in the paper (emphasis mine):

To me, the real problems aren’t around privacy and security. The efficacy of any app-based contact tracing is still unproven. A “contact” from the point of view of an app isn’t the same as an epidemiological contact. And the ratio of infections to contacts is high. We would have to deal with the false positives (being close to someone else, but separated by a partition or other barrier) and the false negatives (not being close to someone else, but contracting the disease through a mutually touched object). And without cheap, fast, and accurate testing, the information from any of these apps isn’t very useful. So I agree with Ross that this is primarily an exercise in that false syllogism: Something must be done. This is something. Therefore, we must do it. It’s techies proposing tech solutions to what is primarily a social problem.
[…]
As long as 1) every contact does not result in an infection, and 2) a large percentage of people with the disease are asymptomatic and don’t realize they have it, I can’t see how this sort of app is valuable. If we had cheap, fast, and accurate testing for everyone on demand…maybe. But I still don’t think so.

And still none of those specialists papers mentions the issues I was stating above: existing social inequalities that prevent people from being treated equally when sick, some people can protect themselves some just do not have the possibility to isolate, mostly this is a race and class inequity.
Those papers do not mention it because they are written by persons who have the possibility to confine themselves and who cannot fathom that 3/4 of humanity cannot do the same, they need to find their daily income.

If this kind of paranoid transmission narrative continues to be promoted we are running into a social scission, the risky (poor) ones and the safe (rich) ones, much worse then anything we had/have with aids. We can already see such things happening with segregation of nurses in their own homes.
It is Urgent to stop developing these absurds narratives and give the means to hospitals and research to work.

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Unfortunately the police state is busy forming officers to flying surveillance drones.

Malheureusement l’État policier est occupé à entraîner des gendarmes au pilotage de drones de surveillance.

De son côté la Quadrature du Net évoque sans les nommer les dérives racistes et classistes dont tu parles @natacha :

à certains endroits très densément peuplés (certains quartiers, grandes surfaces, grandes entreprises) on assisterait à une explosion des faux positifs, ce qui rendrait l’application inutile ;

Ce « certains quartiers » ne peut cesser de me faire penser à la Seine Saint-Denis (93) qui est brandie par Castaner comme un exemple d’efficacité policière alors que le racisme systémique de la police française peut expliquer tout aussi bien le zèle de ses agents[1]. La généralisation d’une telle application pourrait servir de prétexte pour durcir encore la répression dans les quartiers populaires.


  1. Mediapart, 20 avril 2020 : Usul. Violences policières: quand l’État ne tient plus ses flics ↩︎

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hi, I’m sorry I have lost track of this discussion in the past week, good insights; also happy this platform sends a reminder now and then, very well done.

On proximity-tracing tech discourse here is what I posted a week ago https://medium.com/@jaromil/pandemic-and-techno-politics-4b1bcf5eb2de
also in FR https://www.makery.info/2020/04/28/pandemic-and-techno-politics/

I think the topic of strikes and more in general unionization of workers is very important. Here in Italy I have been in close touch with workers in hospitals and helped a bit the analysis, finally gathering some insights I plan to share in the next post, since also the situation is exploding a bit in Padova.

At last while I think that the refusal of this tech is an appropriate conclusion to the attempts to invade everyone privacy “for their own good”, I also believe that a to demonstrate a superior understanding and to possess superior tools for the purpose is a strategic advantage we should not give up in the dialectic process of fighting back. Therefore I appreciate Carmela’s efforts on DP3T for instance, because even if they won’t lead to useful tech, for sure they help to emerge conflicts and ultimately to steer policy. Right now I am afraid that any full-on refusal of tech by ethical standards will be ignored, because of the “state of exception” and the general suspension of ethics, techno-politics is the battleground.

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