(Natural News) In an effort to keep even closer tabs on its citizens, China’s Communist leaders introduced a “social credit system” last year that they use to punish people based on their personal behavior and loyalty to the party.
Now, three top-flight U.S. colleges are creating a similar surveillance system to monitor America citizens and assign them scores based on their exposure to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), Breitbart News reports this week.
Tech news outlet dot.LA adds that researchers at the University of California, Emory University, and the University of Texas Health Science Center have been given a federal grant to create a mobile app that would be utilized for contact tracing of the virus.
The app will be designed to track people in real-time, providing location and symptoms to calculate a ‘COVID-19 risk’ score.
“It’s yet another digital twist on contact tracing, a pillar of public health and infectious disease control that can be onerous detective work. It involves identifying those who have been in contact with infected persons to help isolate and limit spread of a virus, especially during epidemic — or, in this case, pandemic conditions,” dot.LA reports.
No, what such an app really does is blatantly violate citizens’ Fourth Amendment privacy protections because, ostensibly, the app would continue to ‘monitor’ people even when they’re at home and not out in public.
USC’s Cyrus Shahabi, chair of the computer science department, told dot.LA that the universities hope to have a working mobile app by August, in time for the start of the fall semester. He said policymakers could use the system to warn the public to avoid hotspots of infection.
As mentioned — and let’s just dispense with the ‘good intentions’ of ‘public health’ here — civil rights groups are already throwing up huge red flags, as well they should.
There will never be a good reason to monitor Americans like China does its citizens
There must be “a careful balance or privacy protection with public health benefits,” Bennett Cyphers, a staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights advocacy group, told the tech site.
“When you introduce ‘scoring’ that takes other factors into account, it complicates everything, and increases the risk that users will be misinformed or discriminated against due to factors beyond their control,” he added.
And what happens if the ‘score’ is wrong? Worse, what happens if it’s right? Does that mean some authority will then be able to mandate persons with high scores be quarantined?
Where in the law or in the Constitution would that power come from?
Here’s how such a system would look, Breitbart notes further:
China’s social credit system has blacklisted more than 13 million citizens as “untrustworthy,” according to a recent report from the state-run Global Times. The report did not say what these individuals did to land on the list, but the regime has revealed the system assigns a numerical score to every Chinese citizen based on how much the Communist Party approves of his or her behavior.
In addition, another 23 million Chinese citizens have been blocked from traveling by train or plane, so their ability to go anywhere quickly has been taken away.
Anyone who knows what Left-wing tyranny in America looks like, compliments of Democrats, can just take a look at what blue state governors and blue-city mayors are doing to ‘control’ their citizens’ activities (and ability to earn a living), using coronavirus as their excuse.
Coronavirus is a deadly disease, for certain, but it’s not killing everyone. It’s killing older Americans and people with preexisting co-morbidities, mostly. We know that. We’ve known it for weeks now.
What’s more, we already know where the virus ‘hotspots’ are, and gee, we figured it out without a privacy-stealing tracking app or ‘coronavirus score.’
There is no good reason to be monitoring Americans with an app, now or ever.