Showing posts from May, 2020

Covid-19 Surveillance Doesn’t Have To Be Creepy!

The rigorous use of contact tracing, across digital and physical realms, has been credited with helping limit the spread of covid-19 in a number of places, notably Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea, as well as  India.  As a methodology, it has a long history of use against diseases from SARS and AIDS to typhoid and the 1918-19 influenza pandemic.  In its current instantiations—such as the  mobile-phone app  that South Koreans exposed to the virus must download so they can be monitored during self-quarantine—it has raised new concerns about surveillance and privacy, and about the trade-offs between health, community well-being, and individual rights. It is a lot to contemplate. Imagine doing contact tracing on yourself.  Do you know where you were yesterday, and with whom?  What you were doing? How about a week ago?  Two weeks ago?  How would you track back?  Your calendar?  Your in-box?  Your credit card receipts or digital wallet?  Facebook?  Goog

Is Your Privacy Safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Picture a scenario where citizens willingly have their every move tracked via their smartphones; their every bank transaction monitored; and have themselves tracked from CCTV footage.  Pretty Orwellian, right?  Dubious tracking from smartphones and wearables by unscrupulous third parties is already on the dark side of health trackers. However, this scenario is a reality in countries from East to West around the globe. Several countries have implemented digital surveillance to track the spread of the novel coronavirus. Others are contemplating this solution, while many believe it will linger after lockdowns are lifted. Obviously, such drastic measures raise a whole new level of privacy issues.  One can wonder what privacy means anymore and if there aren’t any alternatives to help track COVID-19 while preserving privacy.  Join us as we intrude into the murky business of tracking in the age of the pandemic.   South Korea is already tracking their citizens A classic examp

Covid-19: Contact Tracing App, Privacy & Usefullness

What is  Contact Tracing ? Contact tracing is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to a disease to prevent onward transmission. Through this process, governments and health workers aim to help limit the spread of a virus, interrupt ongoing transmission, and learn about the pandemic. Contact tracing has historically been conducted mostly manually by individuals but a large number of apps are currently being developed or are   already in use   to track the spread of COVID-19. Is digital contact tracing necessary? Tracing and tracking inherently lead to some interference with human rights, especially the right to privacy. Any interference with human rights should respect the legal standard of necessity and proportionality, and this applies as well to the development of a contact tracing app. The Ada Lovelace Institute recently released a   report   showing there is no clear indication that contact tracing apps will help