Finding the balance between safety and freedom in the shadow of COVID-19

published 18.05.2020 18:04

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Any compromises made in the name of public health need to be balanced against the costs to privacy, and if a surveillance system is installed, it needs to be dismantled when the emergent threat of the coronavirus subsides.

In this special issue, we explore the privacy and surveillance tradeoffs lawmakers are working through, outline methods of tracking the coronavirus, and examine France as a case study in the challenges governments face at the intersection of politics, technology, and people’s lives.

Sometimes, as in the case of a tech company the government contracts to perform a task like facial recognition-powered surveillance, you could be giving your data and power to both at the same time.

Against such a dire backdrop, theoretical concerns about data privacy or overreaching facial recognition-powered government surveillance are easily brushed aside.

Before the pandemic, one of the most important — and popular — movements in ethics and social justice was the push against technology-powered surveillance, especially AI technologies like facial recognition.