CLOSED: Call for Papers: Special Issue on Security and Data Protection during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

IT Professional seeks submissions for this upcoming special issue.
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Submissions Due: 17 March 2023

Important Dates

Submissions Due: 17 March 2023

Publication: September/October 2023

The severe health, economic, and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly impacted our daily lives. The evolution of the pandemic, also in view of the recent variants, including Delta and Omicron, may increase the duration and impact of such effects in the coming years. In this context, one of the lessons learned from the current pandemic is our dependence on technology, but also the perception that technological advances are essential to face emerging challenges of virtually any type. Indeed, since the emergence of COVID-19, technology has played a fundamental role in dealing with the pandemic from different perspectives. Initially, the deployment of digital contact tracing frameworks around the world was aimed at promptly detecting people who were in contact with infected individuals to curb the spread of the virus. Then, with the deployment of vaccines, interest in digital COVID certificates for vaccinations, immunity, and testing has led to the development of diverse proposals, such as EUDCC, that are now widely used to allow people to move freely and resume daily activities. Other digital tools based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning technologies have been considered to monitor the status of infected individuals as well as to identify outbreaks in certain geographic areas. In addition, the use of blockchain technologies has been proposed for the validation of digital COVID certificates, as well as to facilitate the supply chain of vaccines and medical supplies. However, all these efforts pose new security and data protection challenges that need to be addressed, considering not only technical aspects, but also social, legal, and ethical ones. In fact, the management of the pandemic requires global effort based on tight collaboration between institutions, while protecting the rights of citizens through adequate cybersecurity and data protection measures.

This special issue seeks novel contributions on the security and data protection concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. In particular, topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Impact of cyberattacks (e.g., related to ransomware) during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
  • Security and data protection of digital contact tracing applications
  • Security and data protection of teleworking tools and methodologies
  • Regulatory frameworks to fight against COVID-19 and beyond
  • Use of IoT for the identification and monitoring of COVID-19 outbreaks
  • Techniques to fight against forgery of PCR tests and COVID-19 certificates
  • Application of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) such as blockchain to fight against COVID-19, including the management of digital certificates and vaccine supply chains
  • Security and data protection regarding the use of machine learning for COVID-19, including the application of federated machine learning techniques
  • Security and data protection regarding the use of machine learning for COVID-19, including the exploitation of technologies that enable edge cloud computing
  • Socio-technical security and data protection considerations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Social aspects surrounding the use of digital contact tracing tools and COVID-19 certificates
  • Lessons learned in regard to security and privacy aspects for a post-pandemic world

Submission Guidelines

For author information and guidelines on submission criteria, please visit IT Professional‘s Author Information page. Please submit papers through the ScholarOne system, and be sure to select the special-issue name. Manuscripts should not be published or currently submitted for publication elsewhere. Please submit only full papers intended for review, not abstracts, to the ScholarOne portal.


Please contact the guest editors at

Guest Editors:

  • José Luis Hernández Ramos, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Italy
  • Paolo Bellavista, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Georgios Kambourakis, University of the Aegean, Greece
  • Jason Nurse, University of Kent, UK
  • J. Morris Chang, University of South Florida, USA