“This is a Manhattan Project-level problem that is being addressed by people all over the place,” said John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, a research center at the University of Toronto. He is among a group of researchers and privacy advocates who say there is not enough debate over the consequences and utility of the new surveillance tools, and no indication how long the scrutiny will last — even as the flood of prying apps are becoming a reality for millions of people, like solitude and face masks….
At least 27 countries are using data from cellphone companies to track the movements of citizens, according to Edin Omanovic, the advocacy director for Privacy International, which is keeping a record of surveillance programs. At least 30 countries have developed smartphone apps for the public to download, he said… In South Korea, millions of people have signed up to use websites or apps that show how the virus is spreading. More than 2 million Australians quickly downloaded a coronavirus contact-tracing app that was released last Sunday.
But 3 in 5 Americans say they are unwilling or unable to use an infection-alert system being developed by Google and Apple, a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll has found.