Edward Snowden Predicts that Mass Surveillance will become a Standard in the name of COVID-19 Tracking!

If you think that the idea of mass surveillance for keeping tabs on COVID-19 victims is a good idea, think again! According to the American Whistleblower Edward Snowden, these surveillance tools will continue to exist even after the virus goes away.

The ex-NSA employee amassed widespread recognition in 2013 when he exposed his institute for being indulged in unethical mass surveillance operations. He did so by releasing confidential government documents to the media.

Snowden cited the “wiretapping” program to support his case. According to him, the mass surveillance tool in question wasn’t shut down completely and has only rolled over and over with the passage of time.

He even said that the governments are taking advantage of Coronavirus to set up an “architecture of oppression”, where data abuse would be a mainstay. He stressed that there’s no assurance of such data sets going away.

Snowden added that your data will eventually be accessible by different presidents as well as other countries. And with that, there’s a strong chance that someone will indeed abuse it.

It’s a known fact that in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, companies and governments all over the world have been rolling out various surveillance tools. Italy and Israel are among the countries that are using smartphone location data to verify if their residents are practicing the lockdown guidelines. South Korea, in addition to tracking smartphone location data, is relying on camera footage and credit card purchase records.

But that’s not all, because Apple and Google are coming up with a Bluetooth-Driven Coronavirus Tracker. This technology will use contact tracing. For those of you unaware, contact tracing allows one to track all the people who were found in close proximity to a COVID-19 victim.

While this technology sounds pretty helpful, Snowden begs to disagree. As per him, contact tracing becomes useless on a pandemic scale. We are not talking about keeping tabs on dozens or hundreds of potential cases, but over 100,000 of those, and this isn’t a job for contact tracing.

He explained that the data gathered (courtesy of contact tracing) can't be “anonymized in a meaningful way” amid such a large-scale outbreak.

And last but not the least, what will happen to the collected information once everything settles down? Who will be accessing and controlling it? After all, it’s one’s personal information, so they should have the right to control it, Snowden said.

Featured photo: VICE TV

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