Using technology and data tools is important to track the global pandemic and epidemic responses to determine disease burdens, monitor emerging outbreaks, and support efforts to prevent and manage the disease. Continuous sharing of data and information is critical to quickly respond to outbreaks, but some national policies prohibit this data sharing due to privacy issues. It is important to balance the need for information with the complexity and security of protecting the privacy of patients, communities, and health workers. Data governance and security policies should be well-defined and along with structured and strong cybersecurity measures.
Monitoring mobile technologies could help track the spread of the virus within the population and rapidly avoid the building up of new clusters of confirmed cases, helping countries emerge from lockdowns. But they also carry challenging privacy dangers associated with gathering citizens’ health data and monitoring movements. Such technologies will lead to an unparalleled violation of our freedoms unless governments and tech companies turn to effective governance structures and rely on genuine cooperation. So the COVID-19 is like a truth test for all the new technologies. Many tech companies like Google and Apple and government initiatives have started deploying tech tools to track the global pandemic such as Bluetooth tracking apps, telemedicine, online consultations through WhatsApp and video conferencing.
Many of the real-time monitoring tools and connectivity have been helping in this time of crisis to bring the world out from this quarantine. However, the potential of many to disrupt these efforts by cyberattacks and misinformation campaigns can be a great threat. Based on the full capabilities of innovative technology, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) may help reinforce security and smooth running of pandemic preventive measures.