Contrast some of these measures to a widespread app used in the UK, which helps people understand if they might have been exposed to covid, without reporting them to the NIH or identifying them.

People download it to their phone, and when it comes within Bluetooth range of another phone, the two apps communicate. If one of the people carrying the phones later inputs that they have tested positive for coronavirus, then the other user is notified that they were exposed, but not by whom.

While it’s possible technically to identify the users via Bluetooth signatures, that is apparently not being done and not being planned.

People use the app voluntarily because they believe it’s helpful and will not compromise their identities or locations.

Armed with information about exposure, people are able to self-quarantine, and employers are required to take the app’s warning as legitimate.

I think this is a good example of how a government can empower people without intrusively surveilling them.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store