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Government Security Technology Coronavirus CSS Blog

Strategic Foresight: Can Prediction Challenges Be a New Tool for Governments?

Hindsight is 2020, foresight is 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed the lives of almost everyone on the planet, causing more than four million recorded deaths, changing the way we travel, work, and socialize, as well as reducing the global economic output by trillions of dollars. As such, the pandemic has reinforced the willingness to engage in strategic foresight and to «think about the unthinkable».

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Security Technology Regional Stability CSS Blog

Cell Broadcast: Sinnvolle Ergänzung zur Alarmierung der Bevölkerung

Im Ernstfall kann eine rechtzeitige öffentliche Warnung vor Extremereignissen Leben retten. Die Schweiz setzt dabei derzeit auf einen Mix aus Sirenen, Radio, Fernsehen und der Warnapp «Alertswiss». Da beinahe alle SchweizerInnen Mobiltelefone besitzen, könnte dieser Mix um Cell Broadcast ergänzt werden.

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Technology Coronavirus CSS Blog

Facial Recognition will Outlast COVID-19

Image courtesy of StockSnap/Pixabay

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented spread of facial coverings while simultaneously accelerating the adoption of digital surveillance tools, including facial recognition systems (FRS). However, whereas the facemasks will disappear again, FRS are not only poised to stay, but to keep on expanding. Consequently, governments should address the issues of bias and robustness by testing and certifying FRS. Even more importantly, there is a need to explore and discuss acceptable socio-technical configurations (cultural norms, technical standards, infrastructure, laws, etc.) around the increased legibility of citizens to the state.

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Technology Coronavirus CSS Blog

Keeping Up with the Digital COVID Jungle

Image courtesy of Free-Photos/Pixabay

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an explosion of digital tools for fighting communicable diseases. To cut through this complexity, this blog provides an overview of such tools for information exchange, contact tracing and monitoring compliance with physical distancing and quarantine measures. The large variety of applications can be explained by the (sub‑) national organization of crisis management, different socio-technological contexts, and the initial absence of sunk costs. To avoid an accelerated increase of surveillance that is incompatible with democratic standards, more transparency is needed regarding government contracts and consequential, algorithmic decision-making.