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China is Using Mass Surveillance Tech to Fight Coronavirus Spread


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Drivers in some areas have to scan QR codes before entering a city.

The Chinese government is working with technology companies to monitor citizens and track confirmed cases of people infected with the coronavirus.

Credit: Lai Li/Xinhua/Alamy Live News

The Chinese government is working with technology companies to monitor citizens and track confirmed cases of people infected with the coronavirus.

Alipay has developed a color-coded QR phone app to monitor individuals in China.

The app assigns people a QR code with a red, yellow, or green status based on their travel history and self-reported health. Anyone flagged as red must remain quarantined for 14 days, while those flagged as yellow must be quarantined for seven days.

Officials can scan individuals' QR codes to monitor their movements, and the codes are being deployed at travel checkpoints, including hanging from drones at highway tollbooths.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, working with China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile, launched a service that allows users to request their location data from the previous 14 days by text message.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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