Is surveillance our path to freedom?

In the digital context, surveillance and privacy are often the cause for scandal. Platforms and third parties using our data for illegitimate uses; facial recognition leveraged for law enforcement; data theft a common story in our 24hr news cycle.
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However, we are are currently faced with the ultimate conundrum. Are you willing to give up your privacy for your freedom?
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What if agreeing to enhanced surveillance and more aggressive contact tracing enabled us to regain some semblance of a normal life? Returning to us our right to freely move around our cities, go to work, enjoy the company of others!
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Would you consent to being tracked?
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The technology exists. Google & Apple are current working together to launch a tracing tool for COVID-19. Many of us have also downloaded the Australian Federal Government Coronavirus App which is keeping us informed on various measures enacted by the government.
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The two systems could easily be integrated. Combined with Bluetooth beaconing, anonymous IDs are transmitted over short ranges. Once an ID has been identified as positive for COVID-19, it would trigger an automatic warning messages to other IDs it came in contact with, encouraging them to get tested.
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They say privacy is paramount and protection is being built in. However as we very well know trust in tech companies and government around privacy issues is not a given.
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So … given the choice, would you Opt-In?
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Would you risk the unintended consequences of contact tracing for a faster return to ‘normal life’? Particularly if your livelihood, mental health and social good depended on it.
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Do you have thoughts and opinions on what we know is a highly controversial topic? Share them via the comments below.

2 Comments

  • Cathy
    I think there is a missing response - yes depending on the design, how is being overseen and by which 'independent' body, its integration/demands for other forms of information and the capacity for it to be completely erased following crisis
    • Something Digital
      Fair. Desirable even. But we're not sure that anything being rolled out at the moment is subject to that level of scrutiny!

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