Camino, Covid-19 and Technology

This post is also available in: Español

There is no doubt that technology can help us to have quality information to make better decisions. That the use we make of the information we collect is up to us, too. Especially in terms of privacy.

El Camino is a distributed environment in which there is no central management entity as such, but rather a sum of entities, a platform of services:

  • Administrations and Associations offering aggregated information such as real time flow in order to dimension the needs of shelters or restaurants.
  • Private hostels, restaurants, cabs, … offering more optimized services to pilgrims.
  • Pilgrims offering their information in exchange for an improvement in the services they need both during the stage and at the destination.

Nothing new but with Covid-19 things have changed. Now we need this information from each other:

  • Administrations and health services need to know how many pilgrims and how they interact with each other and with local citizens in order to be able to perform rapid tests if necessary.
  • Pilgrims need to be sure that the services they are going to comply with the established standards and if we have been in contact with someone who might be infected.
  • Service providers will be able to optimize these services and adapt them to the new needs of “contact-less” including for the sealing of accreditation.

And this is where privacy comes in: the use of these platforms should be voluntary as well as the type of information they collect to avoid any discrimination. Do we have technology capable of offering this type of functionality? Of course: Blockchain for securing information and auditing its access as well as deleting it when the time comes, mobile devices taking advantage of the latest developments for the analysis of interactions via Bluetooth and cryptography, Artificial Intelligence for the analysis of physical distance and the temperature or mask detection.

But let’s not forget that the Camino is a very special time when we should ensure that this technology is as transparent and unobtrusive as possible.