Governing digital crisis responses: platform standards and the dilemma of COVID-19 contact tracing

  • In response to the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, various developers turned to smartphone-based contact tracing to address the challenges of manual tracing. Due to the presence of network effects, i.e., the effectiveness of contact tracing applications increases with the number of users, information technology standards were critical to the technology’s success. The standardization efforts in Europe led to a variety of trade-offs concerning the choice of an appropriate technological architecture due to the contradictory tensions resulting from the dualism between the need for contact tracing data to contain the pandemic and the need for data minimization to preserve user privacy. Drawing predominantly on the software platform and standards literature, we conduct an interpretive case study to examine the emergence and consequences of this multi-layered decision situation. Our findings reveal how Google and Apple were able to limit the individual leeway of externalIn response to the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, various developers turned to smartphone-based contact tracing to address the challenges of manual tracing. Due to the presence of network effects, i.e., the effectiveness of contact tracing applications increases with the number of users, information technology standards were critical to the technology’s success. The standardization efforts in Europe led to a variety of trade-offs concerning the choice of an appropriate technological architecture due to the contradictory tensions resulting from the dualism between the need for contact tracing data to contain the pandemic and the need for data minimization to preserve user privacy. Drawing predominantly on the software platform and standards literature, we conduct an interpretive case study to examine the emergence and consequences of this multi-layered decision situation. Our findings reveal how Google and Apple were able to limit the individual leeway of external developers, thereby effectively resolving the European standards war. Furthermore, we identify and discuss the various short-term and long-term trade-offs associated with the standardization of contact tracing applications and translate our findings into recommendations for policy makers with respect to future crisis situations. Specifically, we propose a strategy grounded in our data that enables responsible actors to make goal-oriented and rapid decisions under time constraints.show moreshow less

Download full text files

Export metadata

Statistics

Number of document requests

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Metadaten
Author:Felix B. BueschingGND, Dennis M. SteiningerORCiDGND, Daniel J. VeitORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:384-opus4-988503
Frontdoor URLhttps://opus.bibliothek.uni-augsburg.de/opus4/98850
Parent Title (English):Journal of Business Economics
Publisher:Springer
Place of publication:Berlin
Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2022
Publishing Institution:Universität Augsburg
Release Date:2022/10/24
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11573-022-01118-4
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre
Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre / Lehrstuhl für Information Systems und Management
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Latest Publications (not yet published in print):Aktuelle Publikationen (noch nicht gedruckt erschienen)
Licence (German):CC-BY 4.0: Creative Commons: Namensnennung (mit Print on Demand)