What is bothAnd?
bothAnd is a Pan-European initiative for more clarity, transparency, and orientation around data privacy during the corona crisis.
Creating bothAnd gGmbH was the fastest way to get things off the ground. A GmbH is a standard form in Germany for Limited Liability Company. The small „g“ in gGmbH stands for „gemeinnützig“ which translates as „charitable“ but has the wider meaning of contributing to the „common good“ and is usually used for community projects, institutions or foundations.
How are we organized and why?
Diversity, globalization, and the European ideal can across as hollow or even worthy of rejection. The pandemic has potential to change this game. No matter what your personal opinions are, the crisis makes one thing clear: We live right here, right now, in a globalised, multicultural community. Viruses don’t care about politics, religions, or borders. And everyone is affected and everyone has the right to make their voice heard.
Necessity demands that we move promptly and in good faith. We must embrace an expanded knowledge base and judgments that are based on democracy and scientific expertise. We need the pragmatist as well as the theorist, the helmsman as well as the navigator, the computer scientist as well as the user.
To the best of our knowledge, we have taken all these things into consideration and chosen an initial form of organization. This organization will evolve by bringing more experts into the room who will further optimize the implementation of these principles.
Why has bothAnd been initiated?
The corona crisis cannot be defeated by following old playbooks. Our goal is not to find the best compromises, but the best solutions. Doing this, sometimes it won’t be easy to involve everyone in the community on an equal footing. Even though we all have the same rights, we have different skills, experiences, and perspectives. This diversity is needed and we must use it as effectively as possible.
Unbiased processes are necessary to see what’s really important, preventing us from forgetting or overlooking anything. Immediately after the analysis, the dictatorship of facts begins. Facts that derive from social, medical or technical issues. Currently, we’re working with some organizational experts to set up processes that will deliver excellent results, and fast. At this moment it looks like all processes will follow one of two directions:
all processes where citizens are involved: driven by their needs, their way of communication, their habit.
all processes of professional contributors: driven by efficiency and effectiveness and nothing else.
Who is a part of bothAnd?
You can also be a part of bothAnd because everyone who wants to raise their voice can be.
Regarding functions within the processes we identified three of them:
Their task is to maintain contact with the outside world. Some are in contact with the EU, others with local health authorities, the teams or companies that develop solutions or our supporters and sponsors.
This group works on the concrete results of the work. This can be external communication, data testing, or other things.
This role is seldom loved but always needed. Observers are our „immune system.“ They make sure that everything goes according to plan, that the quality is high, and nothing goes off the rails.
An observer cannot have more than one role at the same time; this could otherwise lead them into an ethical conflict. Observers must also ensure that all groups of the community are represented.
What aspects does bothAnd’s community feature?
We distinguish the following aspects here:
We cover all kinds of businesses, services and other entities where people work. We are taking consumers‘ rights into account and we have a strong focus on how political decisions impact the economy.
We are a multiethnic community and every country, every region, and every village is trying to help its citizens. It does not matter how big a country is, because every life counts the same. Following our principles, we value the voice of a mayor from a small village in Andalusia as much as the voice of a big government. Both are needed.
Young, old, male, female, single, family, nerd, queer, brown, white – are no factors in our project. There will neither be quotas for minorities, nor glass ceilings for women, nor will it be a good old boys club. All that counts is dedication and performance.
The same applies politically: As long as you believe in democracy you can have any political leaning you like and engage in any organization you want.
Who would we like to see join us?
In essence, this is all about the motto: people for people. Only natural persons can become members. Organizations can send employees or become a supporter or sponsor.
There are therefore two types of members, private and professional members. The type of membership does not say anything about the qualification, but rather whether someone is working in his or her own interest or on behalf of a third party.
Supporters are people or organizations who cannot contribute on their own, but who stand behind the goals and the work results of bothAnd and want to make this public.
Sponsors are people or organizations that support us financially.
How can I join?
Please click here and you can register with the community. And a big thank you already for your interest.
What are we working on and what can you help with?
Actions speak louder than words. How can we make a difference in real life? What you see here is just a first list of ideas. How fast we can deliver depends very much on how many people will join the initiative.
What contributions do we want to make?
We want to make our contribution and help where we can, if it does us no harm. We want to be sure that we get help when we need it. We want to know if we still can get sick or have developed antibodies. We want to know how to make sure we are not getting sick. We want get all the medication we require for our chronic conditions. We want to stay healthy, physically and psychologically.
We don’t want to infect anyone else and we don’t want to get infected. The same is true for our loved ones. We want to the able to see doctors and dentists for necessary non-corona treatment.
We want none of these aspects to be played off against the other. Especially now we want our community to function. We want to know who is picking up the donations. We all want to act responsibly. We want to help those in need. We want to support those who serve all of us the most right now.
We don’t want to lose the European spirit. We don’t want more nationalism. We want to get through this as people.
We want the effort and passion we invest to fall on fertile ground. We don’t want to build something that nobody needs. We want to deliver good quality, but we don’t even really know which devices are out there. We want to work with others, but we have lost track of who is working on what.
We want to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We want to do our shopping. We have to get out the door every now and then or we’ll go crazy. We miss cultural life. We want to be informed correctly and understandably. We want to be able to rely on experts to take care of what we ourselves do not understand. We want to do something and not just have to hope that others will fix it. We want to see our kids going to school, kindergarten, playing with their grandparents again. We want to see and be close to our relatives and friends again.
We want to keep our jobs or save our company. We want someone to help us if we can’t do it on our own. We do not want anyone to get rich from the crisis. We want to get to work (public transportation, crossing borders). We want a realistic chance of survival for the small, medium and large companies that matter in our lives.
What do we believe this current situation needs?
For this to work, we need to shift our focus. Giving 500 million Europeans a platform and voice to make decisions sounds like an improbable task. It sounds chaotic, but will be quite the opposite. It will be the best way to fight the pandemic.
The wishes and needs of the people will help decision-makers, developers, and all the others at the front line of the fight make even more meaningful contributions. Adding to this will be an overview of all initiatives, creating interoperability of solutions, uniform evaluation criteria, common test environments and much more.
All that helps developers to find solutions that truly address citizens‘ needs. Excellent methods and data that will make us bolder to strive for goals that don’t seem to go together:
We want both security for ourselves and our neighbours.
We want both data protection and security.
We want to be both European and local.
We want both to socialize and not risk anyone.
We want to both build something that helps and not waste our time with a problem that was solved already.
Why does there have to be a holistic translation of the EU guidelines?
The approach needs to be a holistic translation of EU guidelines:
with organizing processes which engage all relevant stakeholders in setting up, rolling out, monitoring and finishing the digital solutions;
establishing comprehensive Software Architecture Rules and Software Testing, so that every developer can download them to evaluate his or her work;
methods for monitoring and sharing assessments of applications making sure interoperability and Cross-boarder implications work and security, privacy, and data protection are taken care of.
We also enable independent testing and validation before publishing results. Every commercial and governmental organization can participate, as well as all universities and non-governmental organizations. All serving one goal, one common cause.
In a further step, we will be the so-called system landscape. A comprehensive picture that describes the roles and functions of all these IT-based functions, such as Bluetooth trackers, diagnostic servers, and national alarm systems amongst others. This should help clarify the landscape and also identify the parts that might still be missing or need to be improved.