A recent CNN article made the claim that the Trump Administration is in talks with various Big Tech companies to start a nationwide tracking effort of all Americans who have been inflicted with the coronavirus.
According to the report, Facebook and Google were part of the talks to “use aggregated, anonymized data to help in the coronavirus effort,” which would utilize Americans’ smartphones and other electronic devices to track their locations. It also reports that “multiple foreign governments” have similarly inquired about the possibility of “tapping into tech companies’ knowledge of the movements” of afflicted persons.
The report later admits that the United States government, thus far, has only “asked for generalized location insights that could…show changes in highway traffic patterns or grocery store visits.” However, such an operation could theoretically be expanded to include broader tracking methods.
Several countries have already resorted to such methods; Israel passed a law this week allowing the government to track all infected individuals, “using location tools that had previously been used only for counterterrorism purposes.” Hong Kong has resorted to using “electronic wristbands” for all individuals who are reported to be either infected or “at-risk.”