We Mapped How the Coronavirus Is Driving New Surveillance Programs Around the World
In 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. To document global surveillance measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, OneZero compiled press reports from more than 25 countries where potential privacy issues are occurring.