Have your views on privacy changed since the outbreak of COVID-19? We have seen governments and private companies alike take drastic privacy invading steps that the general public would never have been complicit in under normal circumstances.
Cellphone-based location tracking of citizens, originally approved only for anti-terrorism use in Israel, was approved by Prime Minister Netanyahu for use in coronavirus patient tracking. The goal of limiting the spread of Coronavirus is noble and important. But how far is too far?
“Privacy is the first to go when there are national security issues,” said Ashkan Soltani, a former Federal Trade Commission chief technologist. The US appears to not be far behind Israel in taking surveillant steps to limit the spread of Coronavirus.
QUESTION: What is the right balance to strike between protecting privacy and stopping a pandemic?
While Coronavirus has stolen the public attention, the “crypto wars” of the early 1990s have snuck back with US senator Lindsay Graham’s introduction of the “EARN IT” Act in Congress. The “EARN IT” Act essentially criminalizes privately encrypted communication and gives a Government appointed committee full control over what can and can’t be encrypted.
In the previous TOTW the community discussed the EARN It bill. Please find the discussion here:
Google’s ‘Project Baseline’ website, a Presidentially endorsed Coronavirus online screening platform, is under fire for privacy violations. IoTeX looked at the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of ‘Project Baseline’ and found the following, troubling language: " If you withdraw your consent, information that has already been gathered will be retained… Once you join, your membership could last indefinitely, or could be ended at any time with our your permission. " QUESTION: Is Google’s service important and useful enough to accept this privacy tradeoff?
This thread is specifically about COVID-19 and privacy. Are you seeing your personal privacy invaded for the sake of helping stop the spread of COVID-19? How do you feel about this? What is your community, state, or nation, doing that may have been controversial before COVID but is now accepted as necessary?
Any and all thoughts are welcome. If you want to share participate in IoTeX’s formal survey on privacy under COVID-19, please take this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KHSXVJ7
We will publish the results to this thread in the coming days.