How the governance of and through digital contact tracing technologies shapes geographies of power

Ingrid Metzler, Heidrun Åm

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, we use the COVID-19 pandemic to study governance through digital technologies. We investigate ‘digital contact tracing’ (DCT) apps developed in Austria and Norway and find their emergence, contestation and stabilisation as moments in which norms and values are puzzled through, and distributions of power change. We show that debates on DCT apps involved disputes on ‘digital citizenship’, that is, on the scope and nature of data that authorities are allowed to collect from citizens. Remarkably, these disputes were settled through the enrolment of a framework developed jointly by Apple and Google. Software became akin to a constitution that enshrined understandings of good citizenship into technological design, while also being a means through which geographies of power materialised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-198
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy and Politics
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • Co-production
  • Constitutional moments
  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • Digital contact tracing (dct)
  • Digital technologies
  • Technological governance
  • Technology policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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