COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Apps in Everyday Life

COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Apps in Everyday Life

A Situated Analysis of Take-Up, Use and Adaptation of Proximity Behaviour

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has rushed governments, academic institutions and commercial organizations to create a wide range of mobile phone contact-tracing applications to monitor the spread of the virus as well as to mitigate confinement measures. However, despite clear epidemiological benefits, there are several unknown questions on the reliability and safety of contact-tracing apps. What impact do they have on an individual’s privacy, sense of liberty along with trust and confidence in public health systems? Thus, what are the public policy challenges associated with this digital health intervention? In light of these questions, we believe there is an urgent need for qualitative research that provides insights on end-users’ attitudes, practices and habits of using contact-tracing apps in everyday life.
This project aims to explore why, how and with what consequences people engage with contact-tracing apps. The objectives of our research are, firstly, to generate detailed knowledge about people’s attitudes towards using contact-tracing apps. What is their understanding of the apps, especially in terms of trusting them? Secondly, we aim to explore people’s practices of using a contact-tracing app in their local contexts. What is it like to use the app in everyday live?
By conducting qualitative empirical research in two regions of Europe, Scotland and Lower Saxony, we will provide a grounded and detailed analysis of challenges to the apps’ take-up and use.

Project Owners (TBA)