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Surveillance in the COVID-19 Normal: Tracking, Tracing, and Snooping – Trade-Offs in Safety and Autonomy in the E-City

Surveillance in the COVID-19 Normal: Tracking, Tracing, and Snooping – Trade-Offs in Safety and Autonomy in the E-City
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Author(s): Michael K. McCall (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico), Margaret M. Skutsch (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico) and Jordi Honey-Roses (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Copyright: 2021
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Pages: 18
Source title: International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Carlos Nunes Silva (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/IJEPR.20210401.oa3

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of surveillance technologies in cities around the world. The new surveillance systems are unfolding at unprecedented speed and scale in response to the fears of COVID-19, yet with little discussion about long-term consequences or implications. The authors approach the drivers and procedures for COVID-19 surveillance, addressing a particular focus to close-circuit television (CCTV) and tracking apps. This paper describes the technologies, how they are used, what they are capable of, the reasons why one should be concerned, and how citizens may respond. No commentary should downplay the seriousness of the current pandemic crisis, but one must consider the immediate and longer-term threats of insinuated enhanced surveillance, and look to how surveillance could be managed in a more cooperative social future.

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