Data Privacy Concerns Amidst Contact Tracing and Protester Surveillance

COVID-19 contact tracing app smartphone data privacy concerns GPS location tracking

Should We Have Privacy Concerns With Contact Tracing Apps?

contact tracing using smartphones for COVID-19 coronavirus app tracks movement, location, GPS, data

One way to combat the spread of COVID-19 is by implementing contact tracing using smartphone apps. Tech companies are rushing to craft APIs and apps to support the project, which utilizes location tracking and personal information.

The outline for contact tracing apps raises a red flag for organizations and advocates concerned with privacy and cybersecurity risks. The primary concern is that the apps will have access to an alarming amount of personal data and movement tracking, in addition to the threat of hackers obtaining this information as well.

Although contact tracing apps seek to offer global benefits by curving the spread of the virus, we should be apprehensive before installing these programs and allowing access to our private information. The fear is that the excessive data collection can be used for applications other than what is initially advertised.

To preserve your digital privacy, you can use a faraday bag to block radio communications and ensure your phone is only transmitting data, including your location, when you want it to.


Current Spotlight on Protestor Surveillance

As protesting populations and efforts grow in the current climate, so does digital surveillance (including monitoring the data on smartphones), putting privacy at risk. Articles like the ones below have been helping protestors understand how to keep their GPS location, movements, and messages private, by encouraging the use of Mission Darkness™ faraday bags. Read the featured articles for further details.

PROTECT YOUR SMARTPHONE
If you need a phone for coordination or as a way to call friends or a lawyer in case of an emergency, keep it off as much as possible to reduce the chances that it connects to a rogue cell tower or Wi-Fi hot spot being used by law enforcement for surveillance. Or to be even more certain that your phone won’t be tracked, keep it in a Faraday bag that blocks all of its radio communications. Open the bag only when necessary. - WIRED
GET A FARADAY BAG!
If you’re concerned about surveillance, your smartphone should be keeping you up at night. The apps you’ve downloaded, the unencrypted messages you’ve sent, the location sensor. All these things are useful for keeping tabs on you, and a Faraday bag can stop them all. - INVERSE

Recommended Phone Bags for Preserving Digital Privacy

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