In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared data is “a new superpower” to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically “the ability to gather and share data for good.” Zuckerberg and other tech giants are offering their services to track the pandemic’s progression using social media data and trace the contacts of infected people. Contact tracing is a laborious process, usually undertaken manually by medical professionals who painstakingly track the infected person’s close contacts. With the sudden boom of COVID-19, surveillance tools and services—many of which are relatively untested—we should be asking critical questions about privacy and security.
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