Tony Blair Calls for Creation of “Digital ID” in Post-Coronavirus World

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair called for western societies to implement a form of “digital ID” in the post coronavirus-world to prevent individuals from spreading the disease, through a system that Blair seems to suggest would allow figures of authority to instantly access the medical information of their underlings.

The neoliberal-era establishment politician was speaking virtually at the COGX Conference on Tuesday.

What we’re saying in this paper is you can create a digital ID today that is much more easily protected, so you can deal with a lot of the privacy and surveillance issues that worry people. It’s a natural evolution of the way that we’re going to use technology in any event, to transact daily life. This COVID crisis gives an additional reason for doing that.”

Blair claims that in order to restart businesses and international travel, “you need to know people’s disease status.

Unless you’re able to record some of this data in a way that people can use, it’s going to be difficult to go back to anything like a near normal in things like transport. So, if you’re going to start international travel again, how do you do that, unless people can be easily tested and have some record of that test?”

Blair’s proposal doesn’t even seem to avoid the mere appearance of fundamentally violating traditional civil liberties, openly forcing the public to disclose personal medical data in the name of disease prevention.

Blair admitted the pandemic had proved a useful tool in advancing his vision for a “digital ID-” a proposal he says he has always supported. “I think there’s always been a good case for introducing some form of digital ID, but I think that case is even more powerful today.

Quite obviously, making individual medical information accessible on such a standardized and seemingly compulsory basis would be a severe violation of the traditional ethics of medicine practiced in western society.

Commentators broadly affiliated with the political and media elite have increasingly supported proposals that seem to resemble Blair’s, with some suggestions for the mass implementation of biological “microchips” to allow employers to monitor their employees at any time of the day.

 

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