• Press Release

Workshop for media will examine technology and surveillance in the age of COVID-19

March 30, 2020

Woman wearing a facemark during COVID-19 pandemic looks at the cell phone in her hand
A woman checks her cellphone while wearing a facemask in Los Angeles on March 20, 2020, a day after Los Angeles County announced a near-lockdown, urging all residents to stay home except for essential needs. - California Governor Gavin Newsom took the most drastic step yet by any US official in the battle against the coronavirus, ordering the entire state of 40 million people to stay at home. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
As part of a series of workshops exploring human rights concerns related to the COVID-19 response, Amnesty International USA will be holding a workshop titled “Technology and Surveillance in the Age of COVID-19”. The workshop will cover the themes of how digital technologies track and monitor individuals and populations, concerns around digital surveillance powers, and recommendations of how governments can respond to the pandemic while still upholding basic values of human rights.

These are extraordinary times, but it’s critical to stress that respect for human rights is vitally important now, more than ever. Countries cannot simply disregard rights such as privacy and freedom of expression in the name of tackling a public health crisis. The COVID-19 response offers an opportunity to demonstrate our shared humanity. We can make extraordinary efforts to fight this pandemic that are consistent with human rights standards and rule of law and make sure we shape what the world looks like in the future in the most positive light.

WHAT: Technology and Surveillance in the Age of COVID-19 

WHO: Michael Kleinman, director of Amnesty International’s Silicon Valley Initiative

Rasha Abdul Rahim, Deputy Director of Amnesty Tech

WHEN: Thursday, April 2, 2-2:45PM EST/11:00-11:45AM PDT

HOW: Please RSVP to Mariya Parodi, at [email protected] for call-in information

Those interested in receiving regular updates and briefing documents from Amnesty experts can also email [email protected] to be included on the COVID-19 distribution list. Further dates for workshops, as well as speakers, will be announced shortly. This workshop will have a Q & A. 

More information:

15 Groups Call on Lawmakers to Protect Privacy and Personal Data in COVID-19 Relief Packages (news statement, March 20, 2020).

To learn more about COVID-19 and human rights, visit: https://www.amnestyusa.org/distant-but-together-responding-to-covid-19/