tirsdag 7. april 2020

China: Fighting COVID-19 With Automated Tyranny

“I thought the days when humans are ruled by machines and algorithms won’t happen for at least another 50 years. [But] this coronavirus epidemic has suddenly brought it on early,” a blogger on the popular Chinese forum Zhihu wrote. The blogger was complaining about Health Code, an app that local authorities around China rely on to make decisions about quarantining individuals amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Chinese authorities are notorious for using technology for surveillance, unconstrained by privacy legislation, a free press, robust civil society, or an independent legal system. In Xinjiang, northwestern China, police over the last few years have collected residents’ biometrics without their consent. This and other data has been used to evaluate the level of political loyalty of the region’s 12 million Turkic Muslim minority residents and to determine how much freedom of movement they will be allowed.