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Gabrielle Berman; Karen Carter; Manuel Garcia Herranz; Vedran Sekara
Balancing the need to collect data to
support good decision-making versus the need to protect children from harm
created through the collection of the data has never been more challenging than
in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The response to the pandemic
has seen an unprecedented rapid scaling up of technologies to support digital
contact tracing and surveillance. As the pandemic progresses, we are also
likely to see the emergence of more applications that link datasets as we seek
to better understand the secondary impacts of the pandemic on children and
This working paper explores the
implications for privacy as the linking of datasets increases the likelihood
that children will be identifiable and consequently, the
opportunities for (sensitive) data profiling. It
also frequently involves making data available to a broader set of users or
While it is recognized that reuse of
unidentifiable data could potentially serve future public health responses and
research, the nature of, access to and use of the data now and in future
necessitate accountability, transparency and clear governance processes. It
requires that these be in place from the outset. These are needed to ensure
that data privacy is protected to the greatest degree possible and that the
limitations to the use of these data are clearly articulated.
Karen Carter; Gabrielle Berman; Manuel Garcia Herranz; Vedran Sekara
This paper identifies key ethical considerations when undertaking evidence generation involving children during the mitigation stage of the pandemic (emergency phase), on subject matter relating to COVID-19 once the pandemic has been contained, and once containment policy measures, including lockdowns, have been lifted (post-emergency phase).
While the COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly a global crisis, with evidence generation activities raising critical ethical issues that have been captured in the literature and relevant guidelines, there are specificities relating to this emergency that must be considered when unpacking potential ethical issues.
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
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