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New coronavirus-era surveillance and biometric systems pose logistical, privacy problems

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Governments and companies are using biometrics and geolocation to identify and track potential coronavirus victims in the name of public safety.

As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the globe, new surveillance methods are already raising new privacy and security challenges despite the still-early days of this crisis. Chief among these potential problems is the sudden turn by the government toward using geolocation data to track millions of Americans’ cell phones in monitoring the spread of the disease.

Silicon Valley giants, including Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook, have already been called into the White House to brainstorm ways to use geolocation, public media scraping and other technologies to track users in ways that ostensibly don’t violate users’ privacy. Meanwhile, phone carriers across Europe are sharing data with authorities while Israeli intelligence agencies are using phone tracking technology initially developed to combat terrorism in the fight against COVID-19.

[This article appeared in CSO Online. To read the rest of the article please visit here.]