Public Perceptions of COVID-19 Tracking Technologies


Zoom colloquium.
Please contact Dr. Elise Kalokerinos to register.

More Information

Elise Kalokerinos

Automated methods for tracing the contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID19, such as the Australian Government's 'COVIDSafe' app, promise to help reduce the spread of the disease and allow the resumption of social and work life. However, the efficacy of these methods critically depends on the degree and magnitude of their uptake, and more generally on their broad acceptance and support in the community (i.e., 'social licence'). An international team of researchers led by the Complex Human Data Hub has been examining the public perception of COVID-19 tracking technologies both cross-culturally and longitudinally.  In this seminar, we will present the results of this research and its policy implications.

PDF slides from this talk are available here.

About the speakers

Professor Simon Dennis is the Director of the Complex Human Data Hub in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences and CEO of Unforgettable Research Services Pty Ltd. Professor Dennis is a computer scientist by training and has extensive experience in the computational modelling of episodic and semantic memory. Professor Dennis has been developing and applying passive and active experience sampling methods to understand human experience and memory. Professor Dennis also has a keen research interest in the role of privacy and participant owned data in the behavioural sciences. To this end, he has created an extensive data collection, retrieval, visualization, and analysis ecosystem provided by Unforgettable Research Services Pty Ltd which places participant privacy and autonomy as paramount.

Dr Paul Garrett is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Complex Human Data Hub studying causal models in complex human systems. He recently completed his PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Newcastle, Australia, where he studied numerical cognition, models of decision making, and human memory in real-world settings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul has engaged in an international effort to establish public attitudes towards mobile tracing technologies, and as a member of the FEEL lab, has used experience sampling methods to understand and improve the emotional health of individuals while in lockdown.

Joshua White is a Research Assistant for the Complex Human Data Hub at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. Josh is interested in the role of computational modeling and big data in understanding social and moral judgements and has been working with Simon Dennis to understand the social licence for the use of Wi-Fi location data in university research and services. Josh completed both the Graduate Diploma and the Graduate Diploma (Advanced) in Psychology from the University of Melbourne, being awarded both the Dean's Award (2018) and the APS Prize (2019) for being the top-ranking student of both degrees. Previously, he worked as an insolvency litigation lawyer before embarking on a career change to academic psychology.