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How COVID-19 impacts digital technologies

The current lockdown is boosting online activity – everything is increasingly shifting to the digital sphere. In this dossier we ask if, how and why the Corona pandemic will affect key subjects of digital technologies. What does this mean for the regulation of content on digital platforms? How is Covid-19 activating the digital society? How does it transform our online culture? How safe are tracing apps? What lessons can be learned regarding cyber security? Busy times for our researchers!

HIIG Expertise

Ali Aslan Gümüsay

Organizing in times of crisis

Tina Krell, Jörg Pohle and Deniz Erden

Pandemic control through digital media

Matthias C. Kettemann

Five questions on COVID-19, law and regulation

Blog articles

Tackling COVID-19 as a Grand Challenge

Tackling COVID-19 requires coordinated, collaborative, and collective efforts that take into account other grand challenges including climate change. So how does this crisis relate to other grand challenges and how…

Using Google Trends to track social responses to COVID-19

Countries with a high peak in Google searches for the term coronavirus tend to reduce their COVID-19 infection rates. Does it make sense to associate digital information search with the…

The coronavirus pandemic and its impact on cybersecurity

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted cybersecurity in several ways. The challenges range from the infrastructure of the internet itself to the spread of disinformation online. Nevertheless, not all is lost,…

Open access: critical mass

Marcel Wrzesinski has been Open Access Officer at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society for almost a year. The seasoned journal editor who’s been in academic publishing for about…

Digital tech and the pandemic

Perils and Opportunities How will the coronavirus pandemic affect specific kinds of digital technologies and practices? HIIG researchers offer some tentative answers. At this point, we have all been overwhelmed…

State-sponsored cyber activities in Coronavirus times

The coronavirus pandemic has created a gold mine for cybercriminal activities, including those sponsored by states, generating digital chaos. However, amid this chaos, a light at the end of the…

Is the COVID-19 pandemic social media platforms’ chance at redemption?

Faced with an ‘infodemic’ in the wake of COVID-19, social media platforms have ramped up their efforts to address misinformation. Facebook in particular seems to have implemented a surprisingly robust…

The potential of digital training strategies in SME

The effects of the corona pandemic currently worry small and medium-sized businesses. At the same time, facing the current crisis, formerly analogue processes are adapted at an impressive speed. Coupled…

The Techlash in Times of Corona

The Corona pandemic has made us all painfully aware of how dependent we are on tech companies. This should not put an end to critical debates around tech regulation but…

COVID-19 and true solidarity on the internet

The social relevance of digital spaces for collective action is greater than ever. This article addresses acts of solidarity during corona pandemic and examines in what way they affect norms…

Corona culture

How COVID-19 is activating the digital society  COVID-19 is teaching us how rapidly things can change. All of a sudden, we are living in a new stay-at-home culture. This entails…

Selected Publications

Björn Scheuermann et al.: Privacy-Preserving Contact Tracing of COVID-19 Patients

The current COVID-19 pandemic shows that our modern globalized world can be heavily affected by a quickly spreading, highly infectious, deadly virus in a matter of weeks. It became apparent that manual contact tracing and quarantining of suspects can only be effective in the first days of the spread before the exponential growth overwhelms the health authorities. The authors of this text propose a system for privacy-preserving contact tracing.

HIIG Podcast


Insights into our research

Bruna Toso de Alcântara

COVID-19 and its impact on cybersecurity

Tina Krell

Spread of COVID-19 across countries + x

Pablo Beytía & Carlos Cruz Infante

Tracking social responses to COVID-19