We believed in it. Really. A year ago, the world was preparing for one of its greatest challenges. The miracle recipe was in three steps. First, confine the whole earth. Then set up a mass testing and tracing solution. Finally find a vaccine and manage its proper distribution. At a time when we repeat, editorial after column, that tech is going to upset our lives, it had a fabulous opportunity to show what it was in the belly. We believed in it. Really. At the dawn of the sad first anniversary, the finding stings the eyes a little. Yes, the videoconferencing specialists have hit the nail on the head. Hats off to them, but the jump in the air is not essential. The technology was already there. The other actors having taken the light? Coronalert and quite recently Doclr, the system supposed to ensure organization of vaccination. Rounding the corners, let’s say they arerespectively disappointing and inconclusive.

Casting error

Looking at this dismal record, it seems that the hopes placed in the technology were probably a little too high. Stopped at this stage, the analysis would delight technophobes. Sorry for them, but that would also be a bit too reductive. Doclr’s failure can be attributed to a bunch of external elements. However, it is difficult not to see there also a casting error. However, it is certain that using technology to meet such a challenge was the right thing to do . Entrusting the mission to Tapptic, Odoo, the engineers of the Belfius app which refers to the European level, or any solid Belgian tech player would probably have led to another result.

The other disappointment is called Coronalert. Technically, without breaking the house, the technology holds up and could have made at least part of the difference. Here too, the very principle of finding a digital solution was essential. There too, there was undoubtedly better to do. But the general public’s disinterest and its more than partial use are just as much to blame. The Coronalert case is reminiscent of Data Against Corona. A brilliant tech idea, but one that does not go to the end .

Yes for Facebook, no for the state

Doclr, Coronalert, Data Against Corona should have gone further, it is undeniable. The general public too. The situation has shown its reluctance to digital . Faced with these new proposals for a solution, mistrust often prevailed. “I prefer not to use them because I am wondering what will happen to my data.” The sentence has been heard too much. And too bad if it sends the public back to its inconsistencies. Facebook and its friends yes, but the state which calls for solidarity to fight a global pandemic, no thank you.

To be sure, the technology missed the mark to score points. It has also and above all revealed the way in which the citizen approaches it. A lot of mistrust and, in the end, a rather relative interest in the subject. More than ever, technology needs to be supported by better training and real pedagogy . That too, we believe. Really.

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