onsdag 1. april 2020

China's coronavirus health code apps raise concerns over privacy

As millions of people in China emerge from weeks of lockdown, their freedom of movement is largely dependent on phone apps. The “health code” service – run on the ubiquitous platforms Alipay and WeChat and developed for the Chinese government – give users colour-coded designations based on their health status and travel history, and a QR code that can be scanned by authorities.

The apps are specific to each city or province, but generally people given a green code are allowed to travel relatively freely. A yellow code indicates that the holder should be in home isolation, and a red code says the user is a confirmed Covid-19 patient and should be in quarantine. The apps have become an integral part of Chinese authorities’ management of people and their movements in and out of affected areas. When lockdown restrictions in Hubei province were lifted last week, the government allowed residents with a green code to travel within and out of the province.