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Corona Pan(dem)ic: The Gateway to Global Surveillance?

Our solidarity must be grounded on facts – not on fear.

It is said that the ‘corona crisis’ may be the biggest crisis of the current generation. As of 2 April, 937,783 persons are said to have been tested positive on Sars-CoV-2 in 204 countries and territories, and 47,267 people are said to have died from Covid-19. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization’s Director General declared Covid-19 as a pandemic. By the end of January and early February 2020, a wave of panic of the unknown physical Covid-19 illness has spread across the planet.

Governmental restrictions and human rights
In an attempt to contain the spread of the corona pandemic, and in order for national health care systems not to be overwhelmed by the potentially enormous influx of people suffering from the acute respiratory syndrome that Sars-CoV-2 may trigger, many governments have adopted emergency measures.

Global surveillance
Besides restrictions on physical movement that entail potential risks to our freedoms of movement and assembly, our rights to access education and health institution, and our right to work, many governments also increasingly rely on emerging technologies in their ‘fight’ against the pandemic. Those ‘digital measures’ may severely infringe our human right to privacy, and mark the transition into a world of surveillance technology. What is more, it is precisely the countries adopting those ‘digital measures’, who are said to be most successful in curbing the spread of the virus. Recently adopted emergency measures that engage new technologies aim primarily at analyzing the spreading pattern of the virus and at monitoring and enforcing the curfews. By relying on digital strategies, governments follow the World Health Organization’s recommendation to trace contacts between their citizens.

Full paper can be found HERE.

Copyright by Regina Surber, Senior Advisor, ICT4Peace

Regina Surber

Senior Advisor
ICT4Peace

Virtual Global Conference
Co-Hosted by Capital & SwissCognitive

Find Regina Surber’s HERE.

 

“Not only the pandemic, but also the panic must stop. If not, we will be incapable to reasonably reflect on whether, and if so, how, to opt out of the path fear has been pushing us on to. Our solidarity must be grounded on facts – not on fear.” Regina Surber, Senior Advisor, ICT4Peace

Remarks from SwissCognitive: Regina Surber was one of the global speakers at SwissCognitive’s first Virtual Conference, co-organised with Capital on 31st March and 1st April. The conference gave an intensive overview from various industry-perspectives on how helps us to overcome challenges caused by the Coronavirus, and how this technology is going to provide us with new ways of processes and functioning after the crisis. The Virtual Conference was attended by 500 attendees, calling-in from 20 countries, and its content was spread through SwissCognitive’s social media channels, reaching 400k followers in the eco-system.  

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