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A short step from contact-tracing to mass surveillance

The NHS’s promised contact-tracing app could easily pose a threat to our freedoms

Whenever the dust settles on the corona era, and historians look back at what made it significant, there will be plenty to chew over. They will discuss the scientific models, government policies, the individual heroes, the economic fallout and the shift in the relationship between China and the West.

But, however seismic these phenomena are, historians have written about these types of things before. They have explored the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Spanish Flu, the Cold War and the ‘Blitz spirit’.

What is potentially novel and unique about the happenings of the corona era is that Western states began to relate to their citizens through an app. This represents a social and administrative revolution between people and their governors, fuelled by the ostensibly admirable motivation to save lives and protect public health.

Yet where that revolution could lead can be glimpsed in China’s social-credit system, which ranks citizens according to such behavioural criteria as their trustworthiness.

Continue reading ‘A short step from contact-tracing to mass surveillance’ by Ryan Christopher at Sp!ked.

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