Research Group Works to Enforce Coronavirus Lockdown Based on Social Media Footprint of Users
Using the coronavirus panic, governments throughout the world have escalated their power-grabs at a rapid pace, with technology as the primary frontier used to chip away at the rights of the people.
A research group is trying to make it possible for government bureaucracies to enforce the coronavirus lockdown based on the social media footprint of users. Ghost Data took half a million Instagram posts, from areas in Italy that are under strict lockdown, and handed the data to LogoGrab. LogoGrab was able to match people, times and places from the images and video they received. The study ultimately determined that 33,120 individuals have violated quarantine orders in Italy, just from the small amount of data that was gathered.
These innovations could keep more people safe during the time of a pandemic, but they could also be used to perfect Big Brother and make the Orwellian nightmare a permanent phenomenon. Andrea Stroppa, Ghost Data’s founder, is not particularly concerned about opening Pandora’s Box with his work.
“In our view, privacy is very important. It’s a fundamental human right,” Stroppa said. “However, it’s important to give our support to help the government and the authorities. Hundreds of people are dying every day.”
In addition, mobile phone providers such as Vodafone are providing heat maps to the Italian government that indicate location data, as tech companies are thrilled to subvert civil liberties during a time of crisis.
The World Health Organization (WHO), a globalist body that helped spread the coronavirus throughout the world with their incompetence, are encouraging governments the world over to violate privacy rights in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“The use of high-quality data can support the vital work of scientists, researchers, and public health authorities in tracking and understanding current pandemic,” European Digital Rights, an association representing various pro-freedom groups, said in a statement.
“However, some of the actions taken by governments and businesses under exceptional circumstances today, can have significant repercussions on freedom of expression, privacy and other human rights both today and tomorrow,” they added.
“There’s always going to be a problem when you’re taking people’s private lives and using it at scale to police their action,” said Liz O’Sullivan, technology director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. “The worry is that they’ll hand this information over to the government and there will be some automated consequences linked to their behavior.”
Stroppa claims that the anonymity of the data will prevent widespread privacy rights’ infringements. He believes that his work with Ghost Data will just allow public officials to make more informed policy decisions in the aggregate in order to remedy the pandemic and other crises that may arise.
“What we want to do is not to give the names of people or the streets where police should be, but give trends that we’ve seen,” Stroppa said. “The policymakers can use this information to change their lockdown rules.”
However, even Facebook – which owns Instagram – is worried about research like this and the implications it may have on privacy rights.
“Scraping people’s data violates our policies and we are investigating,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “Facebook has a number of initiatives to help combat the spread of the disease in privacy-protective ways.”
By the time the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end, the civil liberties of the people may be a distant and fading memory.