The Gray Rhino of Pandemic Preparedness: Proactive digital, data, and organizational infrastructure to help humanity build resilience in the face of pandemics

Published in Future of Privacy Forum 2020 - Privacy & Pandemics: Responsible Uses of Technology & Health Data, 2020

Recommended citation: Gupta, Abhishek. "The Gray Rhino of Pandemic Preparedness: Proactive digital, data, and organizational infrastructure to help humanity build resilience in the face of pandemics." arXiv preprint arXiv:2011.02773 (2020). https://fpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/5-The-Gray-Rhino-of-Pandemic-Preparedness-pages-Main-Article.pdf

COVID-19 has exposed glaring holes in our existing digital, data, and organizational practices. Researchers ensconced in epidemiological and human health work have repeatedly pointed out how urban encroachment, climate change, and other human-triggered activities and patterns are going to make zoonotic pandemics more frequent and commonplace. The Gray Rhino mindset provides a useful reframing (as opposed to viewing pandemics such as the current one as a Black Swan event) that can help us recover faster from these (increasingly) frequent occurrences and build resiliency in our digital, data, and organizational infrastructure. Mitigating the social and economic impacts of pandemics can be eased through building infrastructure that elucidate leading indicators via passive intelligence gathering so that responses to containing the spread of pandemics are not blanket measures; instead, they can be fine-grained allowing for more efficient utilization of scarce resources and minimizing disruption to our way of life.

Future of Privacy Forum 2020 - Privacy & Pandemics: Responsible Uses of Technology & Health Data