The response to major epidemics and pandemics known in recent history, such as plague and cholera, has been mostly focused on minimizing human contact, especially between infected and healthy individuals. The same public health strategies have been deployed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease and maintain social structures in this pandemic that the world is currently facing. However, with the technological capabilities of the current times and the data-driven world we live in, the response to this new pandemic has significantly relied on data-based tracking, data analytics, and machine learning. Some initial research already suggests that this could have had significant effects on individual privacy and on their trust in some systems and technologies. At the same time, social distancing and lockdowns have shifted almost all aspects of human communication, including for work, to the digital space. This strong increase in reliance on digital communications and the sudden need for its adoption in different scopes have created an advantage for cybersecurity criminals and opportunists. With more and more assets online, cyberattacks become more profitable and more attractive in return on investment. An increase in cyberattacks that can also have pandemic potential in terms of spread and effects on society at large is a risk that cannot be overlooked.
In this special issue, we provide a forum for researchers working on privacy, digital trust, and cybersecurity to discuss pandemics’ impact and the challenges in ensuring the security, privacy, and safety of different parties. Work exploring the effects of pandemics on privacy and trust within the context of cyberattacks or as part of the new normal, or work investigating the involved challenges and proposing solutions, are particularly welcome. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Changes in privacy and trust landscapes during the pandemic
- Effects of cybersecurity attacks on privacy, trust, and the safety of the population in times of a pandemic
- Preparedness for cyberattacks with pandemic potential
- Privacy-preserving contact-tracing technologies
- Centralized vs. peer-to-peer systems for public health measures
- Submissions due: 19 February 2022
- First-round review due: 2 March 2022
- Revision due: 20 April 2022
- Final decision notification: 25 May 2022
- Camera-ready submission due: 8 June 2022
- Publication: July/August 2022
For author information and guidelines on submission criteria, please visit the 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.
Contact the guest editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbara Carminati, University of Insubria, Italy
Leila Bahri, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden