Governments around the world are now using your mobile phone's location data to track the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a global effort that governments are currently using to monitor the pandemic as it unfolds across the globe.
How Can They Do This?
The United States officials are currently in talks with tech giants like Google, Facebook as well as many others in the industry, the reason for those talks is if they can use mobile GPS data could be used to map and trace the transmission of the coronavirus.
They believe that using anonymous data from individuals across the world during the time that we are now implementing social distancing policies are really useful.
If This Happens, Then What?
The measure would mean that they will use the information of known infected individuals and use their GPS to see who they came in contact with and who are prone to be people of interest or PUIs.
Other Governments Are Implementing This Method Already, And More Are Planning Too
The Israeli government's intelligence has already been granted access to a gold mine of data from their mobile operators. Locations, identities, and more are used to create a net of mass surveillance operation.
Matt Hancock, U.K. Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, has already talked about gaining access to location data despite the strict laws of privacy the United Kingdom has about data protection regulations.
He recently tweeted out as he explains the need for GPS to monitor and assist in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus that has plagued so many nations already, and how it is imperative to give up some human liberties for this cause.
The tweet reads, "GDPR does not inhibit the use of data for coronavirus response. GDPR has a clause excepting work in the overwhelming public interest. No one should constrain work on responding to coronavirus,"
"We are all having to give up some of our liberties; rights under GDPR have always been balanced against other public interests," he continued.
When Is This Usually Done or Has It Ever Been Done Before?
The uses of this type of mass surveillance are usually during terrorist attacks or when the threat of national security is too significant not to use this method to deter any violence across or inside nations.
How Would Governments Track The Individuals Using GPS
To get real-time results, they most probably would use the apps of the individual's phone that allows location sharing or has approved location sharing and monitors their movements from there. GPS is used worldwide by people without them knowing it is already on, except for the tech-savvy few who choose to choose not to share their location data with the apps they have, but most people tend to leave it on for safety purposes as well.
The governments are still doing their best to limit the spread of the coronavirus. So far, officials are doing good on taking action on issues related to the pandemic. However, some infected patients tend to slip out of the cracks, and they are the ones who spread the disease even further than it originally came from. Do you think the governments are doing a good job already, or would you think they are going too far by thinking of using your phones to monitor the spread as well?