Category: Law and Ethics

Norwegian Quarantine Hotels: Infection Control or Penal Measure?

Quarantine hotels and Easter trips According to the Norwegian government, quarantine hotels are an infection-control measure. In this blog post we contest this view, and argue that the rules are penal in character. “We” are all Norwegian: four medical doctors, one psychologist, and three jurists. The rules distinguish between “necessary” and “unnecessary” travel, but the… Read more »

Why digital vaccine passports are a bad idea: the Norwegian perspective

Expanding the use of Covid-19 digital vaccine passports to domestic purposes would in practice represent a return to the checkpoint permit (in Norwegian ‘passerseddel’, in German “Passierschein”), a form of internal passport. This type of document is associated with authoritarian regimes and with war and conflict, last used in Norway during the Second World War.

Tech-Based States of Emergency: some key takeaways

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the acceleration of pre-existing technological trends. As states introduce new rules and technological solutions to fight the pandemic, it can be tempting to view these technological applications as neutral scientific decisions. However, we must critically examine these decisions because times of crisis set standards which can last long after the… Read more »

Public-Private Partnerships during COVID-19: time to ask some questions

To say that the world was not prepared for a pandemic is an understatement. The point was made early on that in order to overcome COVID-19 and make it to the other side, it was “all hands-on deck”. This included individuals, health experts, governments, the private sector and – the focus of this piece –… Read more »

The individual, the national, and the global: New connections in times of China-US confrontation

As the ongoing confrontation between the US and China has entered the technological and digital realms, we are pushed to rethink the relationship between individuals, nations and the entire world as more fluid than it has ever been before. While we grapple with these changes, the EU is on the right path ahead, but other… Read more »

COVID-19 puts India’s e-governance infrastructure and innovation to the test

India’s e-governance and digitalization drive harnesses ‘smart’ technology in an effort to generate new economic opportunities, boost economic growth, govern more efficiently with less corruption, and distribute relief and benefits to the poor and disadvantaged more effectively. In April 2015, India’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a National… Read more »

Drones in the Time of Pandemic: Caution Behind the Hype

The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has mobilized national and international resources of all types, from funding of medical research to financial rescue plans, and has led to widespread state of emergency declarations. While the approaches adopted all over the world have differed from one country to another, an underlying trend connecting many of the… Read more »

Whose Needs? Reflections on Health Information and Minorities

On 1 April, the Norwegian News Agency (NTB) reported that rates of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection among Norwegian-Somalis were significantly higher than among other foreign-born inhabitants of Norway. Hospitals are reporting that 30–40 percent of patients who test positive for the virus are from immigrant backgrounds. The government has now granted NOK 6.6 million to boost efforts… Read more »