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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

Contact Tracing Apps in Selected Countries

In the context of the global efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, digital technologies are taking on a role that is both visible and controversial. This graphic maps Contact Tracing Apps in selected countries and offers details on some of its features, such as data storage and technology used for device detection.

For more on the use of digital technologies during the coronavirus crisis, read Sophie-Charlotte Fischer, Kevin Kohler and Andreas Wenger’s CSS Analysis in Security Policy here.

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Security Technology CSS Blog

The Weaponisation of Synthetic Media: What Threat Does this Pose to National Security?

Image courtesy of geralt/Pixabay

This article was originally published by the Elcano Royal Institute on 14 July 2020.

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The weaponisation of hyper-realistic synthetic video, audio, images, or texts –generally known as of synthetic media– may affect national security. How and to what extent?

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Technology Economy Trade CSS Blog

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Global Innovation Index

As this graphic illustrates, since 2011 China has increased its investments in innovation to great effect. China’s tech industry now rivals its European counterparts, which puts pressure on European nations to engage in constant economic innovation in order to uphold Europe’s long-held comparative advantage.

For an insight into the implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and targeted influence attempts in Europe, read Linda Maduz and Henrik Larsen’s Strategic Trends 2020 chapter here.

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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.