Join us for our second webinar - Beyond the exit strategy: ethical uses of data-driven technology in the fight against COVID-19 - jointly organised with that Ada Lovelace Institute.

This webinar has already taken place. A recording of this webinar is available.

Friday 17 April, 12.00-12.40 (BST)


  • Hugh Whittall, Director, Nuffield Council on Bioethics
  • Carly Kind, Director, Ada Lovelace Institute


  • Linnet Taylor, Associate Professor, Tilburg Law School, Netherlands
  • Ruipeng Lei, Professor of Bioethics, School of the Humanities and Centre for Bioethics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

Data-driven technologies are likely to play a vital role in enabling societies to transition out of the COVID-19 crisis, restart their economies and return to ‘normal’ life. Join us for a discussion on how technologies can be utilised ethically in tackling crises, in ways that command public trust.

Digital contact tracing is likely to be a core component of government exit strategies out of COVID-19 lockdowns and has already proved successful in countries such as Singapore and South Korea. As policymakers begin to consider strategies for exiting the crisis, the scope of contact tracing is likely to expand – from tracing the spread of the disease for containment and treatment, to informing, restricting or permitting individuals’ movement.

In Europe, discussion is beginning on whether governments should expand antibody testing and develop ‘immunity certificates’ as a means for controlling or easing social distancing measures and work restrictions. Digital identity providers are beginning to propose digital credentialling systems to enable key workers to establish and verify their immunity to their employers.

These kinds of interventions present particular ethical, legal and technical challenges, including:

  • How can we minimise the potential harms caused by unprecedented intrusions into our personal lives?
  • What might be the unintended consequences of using people’s health and immunity status to relax restrictions for some?
  • How should we demonstrate solidarity with those who remain vulnerable to infection?
  • What should be the terms of any partnerships between governments and tech companies?
  • Will this lead us to new norms of privacy and surveillance in the longer term?

Attendees will not be audible or visible during the webinar, but will be able to put questions to the panel through a Q&A tool.

A recording and summary of the webinar will be available on the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and Ada Lovelace Institute websites shortly afterwards.

Find out more about our COVID-19 work and watch a recording of our previous webinar.