BIRN Launches COVID Crisis Tech Response Livefeed Page

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COVID Crisis Tech Response Livefeed, a new focus page on BIRN’s flagship Balkan Insight website, will deliver regular updates on digital and tech solutions that are being introduced during the coronavirus pandemic.

While monitoring pandemic-related incidents and activities in the digital environment, BIRN noticed the increased use of technology and digital solutions, both positive and negative, that were being offered to people in Central and South-East Europe by states and companies.

BIRN’s monitoring also showed that ordinary citizens have been the main victims of digital abuses and information warfare, while states, major companies and online platforms have neglected their responsibilities to protect people.

The COVID Crisis Tech Response Livefeed page aims to update readers on a wide range of technological innovations and solutions that have been developed as part of the response to the pandemic in the Central and South-East Europe region.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been using all kinds of tech and digital solutions to keep our lives going. With this page, BIRN is mapping all the solutions that are being used in order to examine all the aspects of the various uses of technology that have been presented as the best and fastest solution to every problem during the pandemic,” said Sofija Todorovic, BIRN Project Manager.

The goal is to highlight trends and connections that would otherwise remain hidden in order to help civil society organisations and media respond more quickly and efficiently to future crises, but also to reveal misuses of tech solutions.

“We know that fast technology solutions can’t solve complex issues for society and it’s crucial to know what is happening with our data,” said Todorovic.

Digital and tech solutions being offered by private companies will be covered as well as state-designed tools.

Among the main issues that will be followed on the new page will be the introduction of apps for digital contact tracing, the implementation of online platforms and remote applications to map the spread of COVID-19, and the increasing use of online education.

The page will also examine how tech solutions have caused a rise in cases of unauthorised access to online platforms, sensitive data violations and banking scams, as well as the boom in disinformation and misrepresentation by scam websites.