How coronavirus restrictions inadvertently lead to mass surveillance

Mashable has a great new piece — in video, and in text — about the intersections between COVID-19 restrictions and surveillance-style privacy invasions. The reporting by Tulika Bose and Jack Morse is smart and nuanced enough that it doesn't veer into anti-masker conspiracy theories, and rather, takes a rational skeptic's approach to the potential abuses — deliberate, or incidental — of the systems we've established to monitor the virus.

Jim Dempsey, the executive director of the center, sees a clear path forward in the forever age of the coronavirus. 

"[It] is likely that there will be more data collection and usage," he explained over email. "Key principles of privacy protection should apply: collect the minimum necessary for the purpose at hand and keep the data only as long as necessary to serve that purpose."

More data collection, however, is often fundamentally in conflict with privacy protections. Early signs of that looming conflict can be found at Michigan's Oakland University, which still plans to open to students in the fall. To accomplish this, the school is depending in part on BioButtons — "a coin-sized, disposable medical device that measures continuous temperature and other vital signs for a remarkable 90-days" — which are to be worn by students. 

The coronavirus could be here to stay. Your privacy may be another victim [Jack Morse / Mashable]

Image: U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth (Public Domain)