I recently just wrote about President Ramaphosaâ€™s announcement that South Africaâ€™s new COVID Alert contact tracing app (researchictafrica.net/2020/09/25/has-south-africas-covid-alert-app-been-zero-rated/ <researchictafrica.net/2020/09/25/has-south-africas-covid-alert-app-been-zero-rated/>).
The app is great and I gave the thumbs up in the RIA podcast on researchictafrica.net/2020/05/28/covid-19-contact-tracing/ <researchictafrica.net/2020/05/28/covid-19-contact-tracing/>
Our President however said that the app had been zero-rated for download. This is as the blog post tries to prove, inaccurate and to a certain extent impossible. This is as we have encrypted connections to the Google Play and Apple Stores, operators can see we are connected to the stores, but not what apps we are downloading, so how can it be zero-rated for downloads on these stores?
I am not arguing that we should somehow break encryption for zero-rating, I am rather arguing that zero-rating is an impractical system for reducing digital inequality in access to information and the use of the modern internet and apps.
I would be interested to know your thoughts on the matter, and your reflections on the opportunities and challenges of zero rating in general.
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