FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, TECHNOLOGY AND VULNERABLE GROUPS IN THE COVID-19 CONTEXT

This work analyses the data collection technologies used in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a thermometer of the democratic exercise of fundamental rights. From Judith Butler’s theoretical contribution on precarious condition, it problematizes the differential allocation of these measures’ impact, considering ethical, legal, and technical challenges. A range of experiences based on the use of technologies for large data collection is on course in the response to the pandemic, as monitoring quarantined people through geolocation data and contact tracing by using smartphones data. By detailing them and analyzing hard cases, this paper seeks to demonstrate the lack of proportionality in the measures that have been taken as naturalized responses to the crisis, especially when it concerns fundamental rights of vulnerable groups. The conclusion points to the need for building alternatives more sensitive to the distinct layers of vulnerability to which people are submitted.