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. 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. It has been used to reduce infections in the population.
What a great opportunity for the surveillance state to expand their reach into our lives and technologies to track and identify citizens. When you consider the new world order goal of tracking its citizens, enhanced contact tracing could be one of the Hegelian “solutions” that will be with us long after coronavirus subsides.
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.
- 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.
- 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.