A Pandemic of Digital Rights Abuses
by Michael Proper
Posted August 2, 2020
We are giving up our right to privacy, our right to gather, our right to work, our freedom of speech, our pursuit of happiness. Fear will drive us to give up just about everything in order to survive. Getting those freedoms back is a lot harder than giving them up.
And now, in the midst of the COVID-19 threat, the news that Google and Apple are building APIs that allow contact tracking in order to track the spread of the pandemic so local governments can assess whether or not to impose stricter “stay at home” ordinances. This from their blog:
“Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms.”
In other words, contact tracing will be permanently built-in. To be fair, contact tracing is opt-in. And the announcement is careful to point out that privacy is paramount. But take that with a grain of salt. It was only a couple of years ago that Apple got busted for secret deals with Uber that allowed for Uber to track locations of users even when location data was turned off. More…