South Africa: Technology and COVID-19 - Be A.F.R.A.I.D.

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We do not know what the world will look like after the Covid-19 public health emergency is over, but we can be certain that the relationship between technology and some of the freedoms we hold dear will become an area of fierce contestation.

The much-publicised use of drone technology as part of the strategies to enforce the lockdown and physical distancing in Limpopo's Greater Tzaneen municipality was greeted with enthusiasm on social media. Limpopo gives us a glimpse into a bigger trend of how technology has become an integral part of fighting Covid-19 globally.

In Russia, thousands of street cameras fitted with facial recognition cameras boast the ability to catch people who are violating quarantine and self-isolation orders.

The Geo-fence, an app that uses mobile phone location to monitor people who are quarantined or in self-isolation, is extensively used in Taiwan. The technology monitors phone signals and alerts authorities - the police and nurses - when quarantined individuals leave their homes or turn their phones off.

Google and Apple announced a collaboration to develop an app that relies on bluetooth technology to automatically trace our contacts. If these two tech giants have their way, this app will become an inbuilt...

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