We Mapped How the Coronavirus Is Driving New Surveillance Programs Around the World
by Dave Gershgorn
Posted April 27, 2021
An attempt to stem the tide of the coronavirus pandemic, at least 30 governments around the world have instituted temporary or indefinite efforts to single out infected individuals or maintain quarantines. Many of these efforts, in turn, undermine personal privacy.
It’s a complex trade-off: Governments need information to create containment strategies and know where to focus resources. At the same time, governments have a way of holding onto tools that undermine citizens’ privacy long after the moment of crisis has passed. Take, for example, the United States’ 2001 Patriot Act, which was passed in response to the 9/11 attacks. The Patriot Act gave the government broad surveillance powers with little oversight, including demanding customer data from telecoms without court approval. Twenty years later, it’s still around.
So far, OneZero has found reports of potentially privacy infringing technology being deployed by 34 countries, listed below. We’ll be updating this list on a weekly basis. More…