Governments Face Trade-Offs on Privacy in Fight Against Coronavirus
Kathryn Waldron, a cybersecurity fellow at the R Street Institute, a think tank that promotes free markets and limited government, is skeptical we’ll see the rollout of surveillance technology in the U.S. on the same scale as China. First, the U.S. doesn’t have the scale of facial recognition infrastructure already in place to conduct mass surveillance that China does. Second, Americans are less likely to allow wide-scale government surveillance on the scale of China.
This is not a time for employers to opportunistically collect additional information about their employees or to introduce employee surveillance measures.
“Government surveillance isn’t a new phenomenon to Chinese citizens,” says Waldron. “China’s Social Credit Score system already used facial recognition technology and nearly omnipresent surveillance to manage people’s daily lives and individuals with insufficient scores have already been denied the ability to travel on occasion, long before COVID-19 was a threat. Rolling out additional surveillance measures now isn’t radically new behavior.”