As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets (NYTimes)

New software in China decides whether people should be quarantined or permitted to enter public places like subways. Green means a person is at liberty to go out.Credit...Raymond Zhong

As countries around the world race to contain the pandemic, many are deploying digital surveillance tools as a means to exert social control, even turning security agency technologies on their own civilians. Health and law enforcement authorities are understandably eager to employ every tool at their disposal to try to hinder the virus — even as the surveillance efforts threaten to alter the precarious balance between public safety and personal privacy on a global scale. Yet ratcheting up surveillance to combat the pandemic now could permanently open the doors to more invasive forms of snooping later. It is a lesson Americans learned after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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