Spying on everyone to combat COVID-19 will further erode civil liberties just like 9/11, privacy advocates warn

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/23/spying-on-everyone-to-combat-c.html




Give people the option to download an app to their phone and opt in to surveillance. They can delete the app at any time and, instead, have someone outside their home to ensure they stay self-quarantined.

It would be unwise to not harness the power of technology to limit the spread, but it must be done right.

Right now, believing myself to be covid-free, I feel pretty protective of my cell phone location data.

Should I test positive for the bug, however, I would want my last two weeks of location data available to anyone who I might have put at risk in that time.

Of course, the time to get these protocols sorted out is not in the middle of an outbreak, we should have had this stuff in place a long time ago.

Absent single payer health care, it makes no sense at all. I really hope USia can join the civilized world after this.

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Could just shut this thread right now, seeing as how you



Can’t recognize faces if no one ever leaves the house again

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But why would they, if they have nothing to hide?

Which is when it would be most useful to know that you interacted with someone two days ago who has now tested positive. So I think you’d have to be sharing your data all along.

I prefer the current approach. Assume you have been exposed, assume everyone you interact with has been exposed. Limit interactions, maintain distance, and practice hygiene accordingly.

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You don’t have to sell me on social distancing, I have known how dangerous human beings can be for quite a while now, and have been doing the social distancing for my own self preservation-it’s weird to have everyone else joining me all of a sudden.

But in terms of using the geodata to help fine-tune our collective response, I like the idea of there not being a central exchange of this stuff at all, just requests and answers. The information should flow from those generating positive hits on the grid, toward those who would benefit from knowing their own risk patterns.

(If it were important, compliance might get reddit-style flairs maybe)

I can’t control the actions of those who live in this house with me. So my options for social distancing are only as good as their judgement, and the judgment of their guests, and the people those guests have been in contact with…

Some discreet high tech geodata might make this kind of social awkwardness a lot easier.

They’re not wrong, but this is the closest to the “ticking bomb” scenario that torture enthusiasts love to fantasize about. Taking the geolocation data for the previous two weeks that people test positive, determining where they were for more than a few minutes, using cell tower data to see who was there around the time the infected person was there, and sending SMSs requesting but not requiring them to submit to tests would be a more proactive way to contain.

We talk about modeling our response after the South Korea, but Seoul is doing what US citizens would absolutely balk at (unless it was done to convicted child molesters).

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What happens to those of us who don’t have cellphones?

Do we get chained at home?

States have the power to do what they must on public health. Look at the case of Typhoid Mary, who died after 15 years in quarantine.

Haha well https://boingboing.net/2020/03/25/taiwan-lockdown-cops-visited.html

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