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China rolls out software surveillance for the COVID-19 pandemic, alarming human rights advocates

 
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04/14/2020 04:52 PM
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China rolls out software surveillance for the COVID-19 pandemic, alarming human rights advocates
Wuhan, China, where the first reported cases of novel coronavirus emerged ten weeks ago, reopened its borders last week. There’s just one catch: A government surveillance app is required to enter and exit the region.

The Chinese government has begun to track some of its citizens through software that analyzes their personal data to sort individuals into color-coded categories – red, yellow or green – corresponding to their health status and level of risk for COVID-19.

The app has helped the government relax lockdown measures across the country in an attempt to reopen their economy, but concerns are rising about whether this temporary measure will become a permanent fixture. And the move has alarmed leading international human rights advocates, who fear that the government is merely using the ongoing public health crisis as a “convenient justification” to expand monitoring of its population.


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