COVID-19: How mobile phone contact tracing can save lives – and preserve privacy
ITU News – Contact tracing is a key public health response to limit infectious disease outbreaks such as the global COVID-19 pandemic.
More than ever, authorities worldwide are using the power of mobile technologies to help them understand and manage the spread of COVID-19.
GPS, Bluetooth, cellphone masts and AI-powered big data analytics are now being used in countries across the world to collect data that helps authorities improve these efforts and save lives.
But how can we preserve personal privacy and maintain public trust while using these technologies to perform crucial contact tracing?
Key experts discussed these issues on Friday in Episode 2 of the AI for Good Webinar Series: COVID-19 – Using mobile phones & AI for contact tracing while respecting privacy.
One central goal of contact tracing is to identify people who have come into close contact with people who have the virus, explained Reinhard Scholl, Deputy Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), as he kicked off the webinar.
“Is it possible to have both privacy and health?” asked Scholl. “The fear is that the short-term emergency measures that have been taken right now will stay long after the madness has passed.”
Indeed, many countries have felt the need to relax privacy laws during the crisis in order to use data to prevent the spread of COVID-19. more>
Posted in Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, Healthcare, How to, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, COVID-19, Health, International Telecommunication Union, ITU, Pandemic, Skills
UNESCO rallies international organizations, civil society and private sector partners in a broad Coalition to ensure #LearningNeverStops
By Clare O’Hagan – At a time of when 87% of the world’s student population is affected by COVID-19 school closures, UNESCO is launching a global education coalition to support countries in scaling up their best distance learning practices and reaching children and youth who are most at risk.
Over 1.5 billion learners in 165 countries are affected by COVID-19 school closures.
“Never before have we witnessed educational disruption on such a scale,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “Partnership is the only way forward. This Coalition is a call for coordinated and innovative action to unlock solutions that will not only support learners and teachers now, but through the recovery process, with a principle focus on inclusion and equity.”
Since closing schools to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have been deploying distance learning solutions and grappling with the complexity of provisioning education remotely, from delivering content and supporting teachers to providing guidance to families and addressing connectivity challenges. Equity is the paramount concern because closures disproportionately hurt vulnerable and disadvantaged students who rely on schools for a range of social services, including health and nutrition.
“We must speed up the ways we share experience, and help the most vulnerable, whether or not they have internet access”, said Angelina Jolie, UN High Commission for Refugees Special Envoy, who partnered with UNESCO in the establishment of the Coalition. more>
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Tagged Broadband, Health, International Telecommunication Union, Internet, ITU, Skills, Technology
Transforming the driver experience: The connected technology under the hood of intelligent cars
By Amit Sachdeva – There was a time when any talk of a new car among enthusiasts or potential buyers revolved around engine power, fuel efficiency and the sleek design and finish.
Today, that same conversation has expanded to include sustainability and a connected experience.
Consumers expect every aspect of their life to be connected to the internet, so why should one’s car be any different? Automakers are aware of this and are responding by partnering with technology and B2B companies to find innovative ways to satisfy the demands of customers, and avoid being disrupted.
As a result, newer models with embedded Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and intelligent applications built-in are redefining the manufacturing landscape and the driving experience for consumers.
The surge in the global connected cars market not only impacts the auto industry, it also offers several opportunities for businesses – retailers, insurers, entertainment businesses and of course, the car makers themselves – to leverage the huge volumes of data generated and captured by connected cars to achieve new levels of customer loyalty and open up new revenue streams. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, How to, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, International Telecommunication Union, Internet, ITU, Skills
How Mexico seeks to connect its rural citizens better: Arturo Robles
ITU News – In Mexico, 95.23 per cent of the population have a mobile-cellular subscription and 65.77 per cent of the population use the internet, according to ITU statistics.
Connecting the remaining population to the power of the internet, however, has been a challenge as many of the people who remain offline live in very isolated rural areas.
But thanks to successful connections with K-band satellites, commercial satellite operators are now finding profitable and feasible opportunities to provide connectivity in these remote villages, says Arturo Robles, Commissioner of Mexico’s Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT).
During an interview with ITU at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Mr. Robles also shared his hope that innovative services could help provide affordable rural connectivity solutions. more>
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Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, International Telecommunication Union, Internet, ITU, Productivity
Addressing challenges for teaching the Internet of Things
By Anna Forster – The Internet of Things (IoT) has become one of the fastest growing fields and an increasing number of jobs require expertise in this field. Yet very few academic institutions offer targeted degrees in the field of IoT.
The Internet of Things is changing how we interact with the world around us. Connected smart watches can provide real-time insights into our health and wellbeing; smart home devices such as connected refrigerators and lights can increase energy efficiency; and connected streetlights can help to manage traffic flow during peak rush-hour.
As more devices become connected, we need to ensure that today’s students have the right skills to drive this technology forward.
Designing a curriculum to teach IoT can be a challenge, in part because IoT is not a stand-alone technology, scientific discipline or paradigm. Rather, it is a combination of existing and well-established fields, including communication networks, embedded programming, artificial intelligence and computer security.
Education professionals must find a way to combine these rather isolated fields together into a meaningful program, and to explore and teach their interactions. Additionally, students need to obtain practical experience.
Students must be equipped with the right tools and skills to keep up-to-date with the extremely fast pace of their field. The market is nowadays exploding with new products, technologies and standards; what they learn during their studies will surely be outdated by the time of their graduation.
Therefore, a successful IoT curriculum is built on three dimensions: technical content, soft skills and teaching paradigms. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Climate change, International Telecommunication Union, Internet, Internet of Thingies, ITU