I warned about how Russia has began monitoring citizens using phone apps in a way similar to China’s “social credit” system, and that the same would come to the US and Europe. In a story out of Thompson Reuters, this is already happening as a new smartphone-based monitoring system for COVID-19 patients is about to be unveiled.
A group of European experts said on Wednesday they would soon launch technology for smartphones to help trace people who had come into contact with those infected with coronavirus, helping the health authorities act swiftly to halt its spread.
The initiative involves gathering data via smartphones to show who a person with the virus had come in close contact with, so that those people at risk could then be contacted.
The ability to track down those at risk of infection more accurately could help avoid having to ‘lock down’ entire societies, with the resulting hugely damaging economic impact.
The European initiative, called Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT https://www.pepp-pt.org), follows the successful use of smartphones in some Asian countries to track the spread of the virus and enforce quarantine orders, although their methods would have violated strict EU data protection rules.
PEPP-PT, which brings together 130 researchers from eight countries, aims to issue a licensed technology platform by April 7, the basis for contact-tracing applications, with roll-out of the first apps a week or so after that.
“You are talking about a very short space of time,” said Hans-Christian Boos, founder of German technology firm Arago and a member of the German government’s digital advisory council. (source)
There is nowhere to run to any more.
The virus, while it is serious, is being used as a cover for implementing a worldwide, yet on a per-nation basis, surveillance of all her people.
Welcome to a brave and new world.