If you thought being asked to check-in at a cafe was “a step too far”, this new development in coronavirus technology may have your wings rustling.
If you thought being asked to check in at a cafe with your smartphone was “a step too far”, this new development in coronavirus technology could make your wings rustle.
During the coronavirus pandemic, governments around the world have flocked to new technologies in hopes of gathering better information on the activities of potential broadcasters, who use everything from QR codes to camera drones in the sky in a purported effort to keep us safe. are using.
Now, state-of-the-art artificial intelligence has been used in South Korea to trace the movements of positive cases.
The new system, which is expected to debut in January, will employ some of the world’s most advanced facial recognition software to pin down anyone potentially violating public health orders after contracting the virus.
Despite obvious privacy concerns from the opposing camps, the test project will initially involve 10,000 CCTV cameras to collect data in the city of Bucheon.
According to a 110-page business plan from the city submitted to the Ministry of Science and ICT, the plan would use the data to track the movements of an infected person with whom they had close contact, and whether they were wearing a mask.
Bucheon Mayor Jang Deog-cheon lobbied for national funding in an AI tracing system in 2020, arguing that its use would significantly reduce the workload for contact tracers.
“It sometimes takes hours to analyze a CCTV footage. Using visual recognition technology will enable that analysis immediately,” he said on Twitter.
Pro-privacy groups immediately rallied against the news, painting the development as another slip toward a taxpayer-funded dystopia.
While the system is not strictly the first of its kind – countries such as Russia, India, China, Japan and the US have implemented some form of facial recognition technology in the fight against Covid – officials are urged to drop the need for it. Given that the opposing sides are related.
“The government’s plan to become Big Brother on the pretext of Covid is a neo-totalitarian idea,” People Power Party representative Park De-chul told the media.
“It is absolutely wrong to monitor and control the public through CCTV without taxpayers’ money and public’s consent.”
The tech-savvy nation has used a wide range of high-tech contact tracing methods, including collecting citizens’ credit card records, cellphone location data and CCTV footage, to tackle the spread.
An anonymous Buccaneer official responded via Reuters, claiming that collecting data on passersby was not, in fact, an invasion of privacy because it fits within the constraints of the country’s Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act.
The system will reportedly put a blurry mosaic on the face of a person who is not a subject, meaning only those violating public health orders should be concerned about the government having their face scanned in public.
“There is no privacy issue here as the system traces the confirmed patient based on the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act,” the official said. “Contenders stick to that rule so that there is no risk of data spread or invasion of privacy.”
Despite acclaim as one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, tallying more than 5,000 cases for three days in a single week, the nation rolled out new measures in November after battling a new wave.
At the time of writing, South Korea has 83 percent vaccine coverage and still continues to break daily national case numbers records.
Masks have been made mandatory around the densely populated city of Seoul for most of the year, with recent data showing that 27 percent of South Koreans expect to wear masks indefinitely.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said there were 5,352 new cases of COVID-19 and 70 deaths in the past 24 hours, each a record high for the country in the nearly two-year-long outbreak. South Korea’s Covid death toll now stands at 3,809, while new daily cases have topped 5,000 three times this week.
The rising number of deaths and the emergence of the Omicron version have prompted South Korean officials to impose tough new restrictions on the public.
As of December, gatherings of seven or more people will be banned in Seoul and surrounding communities.