Does Contact Tracing Violate the 4th Amendment?
The CDC was praised by White House Coronavirus Task Force member, Dr. Deborah Birx for their ability to do contact tracing. Contact tracing has been a pillar of communicable disease control in public health for decades to reduce infections in populations. It is the process of identification of persons who may have come into contact with an infected person (“contacts”) and subsequent collection of further information about these contacts.
What a great opportunity for the surveillance state to expand their reach into our lives with technologies to track and identify citizens. When you consider the new world order goal of tracking all its citizens, enhanced contact tracing could be one of the Hegelian “solutions” that will be with us long after coronavirus subsides.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. – The Bill of Rights
As the people of the world grapple with a pandemic that is demonstrably less deadly than originally reported, the public is being primed to accept an exponential increase in invasions of personal liberty and privacy. To return to normal, we are told, we must accept certain changes to how our world operates.
Communist China and South Korea has used measures to try to identify every step that a person took prior to testing positive for the virus — using GPS phone tracking data, credit card records, and interviews with each patient to determine their movements. In Israel, the intelligence agencies not only look back at the movements of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, but also monitor the phone activities of those suspected to be infected.
While I have not found evidence the Federal government is using any surveillance tools to track the movements of those infected with coronavirus, it has been disclosed that State governments are using GPS tracking tools to contact trace its citizens. Currently, 14 states have launched their own contact tracing apps, mostly based on the leading digital contact tracing protocol developed by Google and Apple.
- The system Kansas uses, called Unacast, uses anonymized GPS data from cell phones to show how much people are moving, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman said. It can measure how people have decreased their level of travel and offers states a grade based on their social distancing practices.
- The governor of Connecticut encouraged its citizens to voluntarily sign up for a cell phone app to track their health status. The state has also launched a smartphone app designed to notify users if they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Once installed, the app uses Bluetooth to sense whether a user’s device has been within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more in one day.
- Apple and Google are introducing a pair of iOS and Android APIs where users will still have to download an app to participate in contact-tracing. The companies will work on building tracing functionality into the underlying operating system to track everyone with an iOS or Android phone.
It’s not unreasonable to think that such efforts may be on the way at the federal level — particularly given that up to this point testing has been insufficient and officials may seek new ways to help people track potential exposure to the virus.
According to Forbes, nation-states need about 60 percent of their population to adopt and regularly use contact tracing tools for it to be effective. Forbes reports that most cities are not likely to achieve 60% or even 40% compliance. Unfortunately, Forbes reminds us, “It’s a relentless fight. And it takes an army of tracers.” Forbes also notes that cities will need to “force changes of behavior” before reopening society. “Contact-tracing apps are being seen as one of the conditions of ending lockdowns—mandating and enforcing their use might become a logical next step.“
Despite the fact that not one state had certified their election results, Joe Biden announced plans to send a “culturally competent” army of 100,000 COVID contact tracers and spies into your community and neighborhood.
Is contract tracing being used to identify and track protestors?
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety raised alarm bells recently when Commissioner John Harrington said in a press conference that law enforcement was using “contact tracing” on arrested protesters. Minnesota public health authorities tried to step back those remarks saying Harrington was referring to the normal process of law enforcement investigations. He did not mean that the police were using data from Covid-19 contact tracing efforts or tools to assist in those investigations, as some have interpreted his remarks to mean.
US On The Brink Of Martial Law As Officials Implement Contact Tracing Methods To Track Rioters