In order for us to go back to day-to-day lives that are even close to normal, we’re going to have to be able to track contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19—and we’re going to have to be able to do that unbelievably quickly. Right now, we don't have the capacity to do that on a large scale. And if we don't promptly hire an army of health workers to do it manually, we will have to look to technology.
Using surveillance to track citizens in the interests of public health, though, is an incredibly slippery slope. What would it look like? Who would have access to the data? How could people who don't want to participate opt-out? Is this even possible in a democracy? Should it be? These are the questions we need to think about before an emergency leaves us with no time to figure out the details.
GUEST: Jesse Hirsh, research and futurist, writer at metaviews.ca