The role of Good- Governance and the Rule of Law in Building Trust in Data-Driven Responses to Public Health Emergencies

Project Details


Interdisciplinary project sponsored by AHRC examining how data and digital technologies have been utilised during COVID-19, their legality and their implications for human rights, justice and effectiveness. Dr Pagliari is contributing on the 'good-governance', public health and public engagement.
Partners include the Bingham Institute for the Rule of Law, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Newcastle Law School, the Ada Lovelace Institute and The Turing Institute.

Layman's description

The increasing availability of health and other types of data is bringing new opportunities for this information to be harnessed and used to inform public health efforts. In the context of epidemics this has included mining large-scale public datasets and commercial sources of data such as a social media, to look for trends and patterns, or to understand whether some groups are affected more than others. Data is also collected and used by software programmes, mobile phone apps and new digital algorithms, to support or inform healthcare behaviour or interventions. Examples include contact tracing apps and vaccine passports. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic some of these have been brought in rapidly and with little consultation, causing controversy over their legitimacy, robustness and security, and their impact on rights and freedoms. Questions have also been asked about the accountability of the institutions and organisations involved in these programmes, particularly where the public and private sectors come together. This project looks at the lawfulness of these approaches and, indeed, whether we need new laws. It also looks at their ethics and institutional accountability, and is engaging with members of the public to understand what they believe to be acceptable or unacceptable uses of data and its governance in this and future public health emergencies.

Key findings

In progress
Effective start/end date1/02/211/12/21


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