Despite European hopes being invested in the technology, contact tracing apps have only succeeded in tracking 5% of registered cases since they were introduced in the EU. The lack of public confidence in the scheme has proven to be an insurmountable hurdle.
Regulation of the European Parliament is highly voluntary. Compared to 90 percent of Swedish, Danish or Finnish MEPs who disclose meetings with interest groups, only one out of ten Greek, Polish and Bulgarian MEPs do so.
Meetings with dozens of assistants and thousands of civil servants fly under the radar of the EU's transparency register. The heads of the pharmaceutical industry, EFPIA is one of the most active lobby groups. In less than a year and a half since the start of the pandemic they have held as many meetings with senior Commission officials as in the last five years.
The drastic increase of lobbying expenditure by Big Tech companies is denting Europe’s traditionally strict privacy laws and shifting more power into the hands of corporations. And the COVID-19 is playing in the latter's hand.