Coronavirus aftermath: The surveillance state will expand

TechNode reports:

As Beijing ramps up efforts to contain transmission of the novel coronavirus, authorities in the northeastern city of Shenyang are launching a real-name registration system for public transit developed by China’s on-demand services provider Meituan Dianping, and many cities are beginning to follow suit…

The mobile registration system requiring commuters leave their personal information via QR code before taking public transport went live on Thursday in Shenyang, capital of the northeastern Liaoning Province, Meituan announced (in Chinese).

It’s likely many other cities will implement similar measures: The digital infrastructure is already in place, as is the rationale to track passengers — during a disease outbreak, people will put their health ahead of abstract concerns about privacy.

Once the epidemic is over, however, the government is not likely to give up any new tools it has acquired to track citizens, just as security checkpoints and surveillance equipment installed for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games are in use today.  

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—Jeremy Goldkorn