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COVID Response and Digital Trust

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Online event

We invite you to join us for a discussion on data privacy of COVID-19 proximity tracing applications, and how this has affected the adoption rates by users. 

This event, co-sponsored by the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration and the Global Health Centre, will take place on Tuesday 16 February at 15:00-16:00 CET.

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While the SwissCovid proximity tracing app was designed as decentralized and privacy-preserving, adoption rates have been low, and non-users have cited privacy and data protection as the top reason for not adopting. Similar results have been seen in other countries. Given the potential benefits of such an app, and users willingness to use apps with less privacy and arguably less social benefits, this suggests a need for a better understanding of privacy along with a greater focus on generating digital trust in society.  The focus of the panel will be on the privacy features of the proximity tracing apps, the implications of such tech for global health, and general privacy and online trust, with a view to the lessons learned, and what can be done better. This discussion is particularly relevant in light of the proposed digital vaccine passports, which may present similar issues along with their own challenges.



  • Jim Larus | Professor and Dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences, EPFL
  • Sara Leila Margaret Davis | Senior Researcher, Global Health Centre,  The Graduate Institute Geneva
  • Robin Wilton | Director of Internet Trust, Internet Society


  • Michael Kende | Visiting Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Programmes, The Graduate Institute Geneva