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Law, Technology and Humans Queensland University of Technology 2652-4074 Law, Technology and Humans provides an inclusive and unique forum for exploration of the broader connections, history and emergent future of law and technology through supporting research that takes seriously the human, and humanity of law and technology. ISSN:  2652-4074 (Online)
Law, Technology and Humans 2 1

Data Control and Surveillance in the Global TB Response: A Human Rights Analysis


The global response to the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic is generating copious amounts of personal health data. The emerging emphasis on the use of active case finding and digital adherence technologies in the TB response will increase the amount and expand the kind of data produced and used by public and private health officials. The production of personal data in high TB burden countries, in particular, must be considered in light of their colonial histories. In doing so, we argue that interventions to eliminate TB at global and national levels are ushering in a new era of data colonisation and surveillance in the name of public health. This, in turn, raises critical concerns for the human rights of people affected by TB, many of whom belong to vulnerable or marginalised groups. We examine the normative and legal content for a set of international human rights critical to the TB response, highlighting how each right implicates the production and use of personal health data. We also demonstrate that these rights are, by and large, enshrined in the constitutions of each high TB burden country. Finally, we use these rights to analyse active case finding and digital adherence technologies to pinpoint their unique data risks and the threats they pose to the human rights of people affected by TB.

Pages:107 to 123
Section: Articles
0 citation(s) in Scopus
0 citation(s) in Web of Science
How to Cite
Albrecht, K., & Citro, B. (2020). Data Control and Surveillance in the Global TB Response: A Human Rights Analysis. Law, Technology and Humans, 2(1), 107-123.


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Author Biographies

Northwestern University and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
United States United States

Kat Albrecht is a Law and Sciences Fellow in sociology and the Pritzker School of Law at Northwestern University. She is also a member of Luis Amaral’s Complex Systems Lab in the McCormick School of Engineering. Kat’s work sits at the intersection of computational social science and law, where she uses innovative computational techniques to study school gun violence, felony murder, Title IX policy, and racial disparity in arrest. Her work has been published in outlets like Nature Human Behavior, Law and Policy, and Studies in Law, Politics, and Society. She is also a 3 time organizer of the Summer Institute in Computational Social Science Chicago. 

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
United States United States

Brian Citro is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law in the Bluhm Legal Clinic. Previously, he was Clinical Lecturer in Law and Associate Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. He is co-Director of the global advocacy project Developing a Human Rights-Based Approach to TB, administered by the TB and Human Rights Consortium. He served as Senior Research Officer to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and worked in New Delhi, India as Project Manager of the Global Health and Human Rights Database at the Lawyers Collective prior to this. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization, UN Development Program and UN Stop TB Partnership. His research and writing focuses on health and human rights, climate geoengineering, sex selection and police use of force in the United States. He has a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Northern Illinois University and he earned his JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2652-4074