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South Korea virus control model has privacy drawbacks

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Significance

The country has avoided a full lockdown even though the epidemic initially gained strength. Nonetheless, Seoul managed to reduce the infection rate, and in late April was reporting no new cases, before a new cluster resurfaced this month. Secondary waves are expected and many countries are looking to South Korea’s coronavirus response as a model for controlling the epidemic.

Impacts

  • Centralised storage of personal data during the pandemic could be an attractive target for state-sponsored hackers and cyber criminals.
  • A more decentralised surveillance approach would keep effectiveness high and mitigate privacy concerns.
  • People identified as having had or spread COVID-19 are sometimes subject to stigmatisation and online harassment.

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