Historically, pandemics have been watershed moments in altering citizen-state relations. In the case of Covid-19, data and technology are the driving these changes. For example, states like South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Israel have done a stellar job of effectively controlling the pandemic by testing, contact tracing, isolating, and quarantining. Underlying this approach, however, is the highly effective deployment of surveillance data.

In India, we have seen debates emerge around the privacy implications of the government contact-tracing app Aarogya Setu. What are the legal and privacy implications of these changes? Once the world exits the immediacy of the pandemic, will this new data and technology regime will fundamentally reshape the social contract?

In the eighth episode of CPR ThoughtSpace, Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive of Centre for Policy Research, speaks with Ananth Padmanabhan, Visiting Fellow at the Centre and Dean of the Daksha Fellowship, and Sahil Deo, co-founder of CPC Analytics and faculty at Daksha Fellowship.

Padmanabhan and Deo tell us about the different ways in which data and technology have been used, from controlling the spread of the disease to supporting governments, policymakers, and the public health system. They shed light on legal frameworks required to think through the long-term implications of these technological developments, as well as the likely changes in citizen-market relations.

This is the eighth episode in a series by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter or visit www.cprindia.org. You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here.