Role of platforms | About the incompatible surveillance-based business model

Google and Facebook help connect the world and provide crucial services to billions. To participate meaningfully in today’s economy and society, and to realize their human rights, people rely on access to the internet—and to the tools Google and Facebook offer. But Google and Facebook’s platforms come at a systemic cost. The companies’ surveillance-based business model is inherently incompatible with the right to privacy and poses a threat to a range of other rights including freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of thought, and the right to equality and non-discrimination.

Read more about it in the report released by Amnesty International. And in addition to this Amnesty report, here you find the respons of the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Seventy-fourth session, item 72(b).

How to deal with platforms in relation to a widespread availability of corona app?

surveillance giants

The development of COVID-related technology, especially contact tracing apps, and their reliance on for example Google’s and Apple’s platforms shows that despite growing criticism against surveillance capitalism, the reality is that public institutions cannot seem to get around big tech. Could this be the case, that governments and health organizations simply do not have a perspective on technology outside of the scope of using popularized platform services? Or is it indeed impossible to have a corona app be widespread available and usable outside of these platforms? And would it not be in the interest of citizens and governments to find out whether this in fact is impossible (which ties back to the ethical guidelines for corona app development shared by @Rathenau_Instituut here -> is it better to develop a Apple/Google-compliant app ‘quick and dirty’ or instead develop an actually open and transparent alternative in the commons, which may or may not take more time)?