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The case for a mandatory tracking app

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I have thought for some time that our tracking is abysmal, and responsible for most of the new cases we're getting outside elderly care homes. If we're going to open up again we need something which will immediately track new cases and warn those exposed to get tested. So far the government has come up with nothing. A contact tracking app makes sense in the short term until we get a vaccine. Privacy concerns are secondary to the point of being tertiary compared to getting the economy moving and saving lives.

“Stay home: Save lives” is the message promoted by New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the Western leader whose response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful. The secret of this success? Ardern also adopted an approach of “Go hard: Go early” and has consequently suffered far fewer fatalities per capita than countries that dithered or delayed imposing restrictions. But minimizing the butcher’s bill runs up the banker’s bill, and the banker’s bill is growing. As soon as the relevant offices emerge from lockdown, there will be insolvencies and liquidations. Some businesses will not re-open at all. The longer lockdown continues, the greater the number of businesses forced to close, and the more jobs lost. To avert widespread economic collapse, governments have been handing out wage subsidies and bail-outs to keep businesses afloat.

Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary policy measures. If there is a way to reduce both the butcher’s bill and the banker’s bill, then governments are justified in mandating it. Recently, an Oxford team published a paper in Science which found that the spread of COVID-19 was “too fast to be contained by manual contact tracing but could be controlled if this process was faster, more efficient and happened at scale.” The authors therefore make the case for a contact tracing app. Its main feature would be to store data on proximity contacts and sound an alarm if a contact has been tagged as testing positive.

 

https://quillette.com/2020/05/07/the-case-for-a-mandatory-covid-19-app/

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..and you see no legal, privacy, civil liberties, freedom issues with your suggestion? 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Rue said:

..and you see no legal, privacy, civil liberties, freedom issues with your suggestion? 

 

 

Issues are just issues.  They are not deal breakers.  Sometimes I think people forget about the world they live in.

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Just now, Rue said:

..and you see no legal, privacy, civil liberties, freedom issues with your suggestion? 

Do you think that the gov't doesn't track your location 24/7 by your cel phone anyways? Even before the NSA whistleblower I had heard rumours for a long time that every single phone call that you make is recorded, even if it's not actively monitored by humans. Your privacy is just a figment of your imagination bro. 

IMO the tracker is less of an infringement than an actual quarantine, but this whole covid pandemic is more of a scandal than an actual medical situation now. It's a divisive cesspool of lies & deceit, and a bunch of people who were clinging to what life they had left have become dead political pawns.

My only real takeaway from covid so far is that people are shittier than I originally thought.

Best argument against that monitoring system - our dickhead PM and his crooked cops can say that anyone is a carrier, because it's theoretically a fact some people remain asymptomatic for the whole time that they're carrying the virus. They coud stick that monitor on anyone they wanted. 

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The problem is that these people who are pushing these vaccinations aren't exactly the paragons of honesty themselves. Therefore people have every right to treat them and their ideas with utmost suspicion.

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30 minutes ago, Rue said:

..and you see no legal, privacy, civil liberties, freedom issues with your suggestion?

The constitution is not a suicide pact is a phrase mostly attributed to Lincoln.

But I also defer to that great intellect Sherlock Holmes, who said that once you eliminate the impossible, what remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

We cannot stay locked down indefinitely. Yet the moment we start opening up and trying to go back to our old lifestyle the virus will manifest once again and spread rapidly through the population. Germany is already discovering this. And what exactly is the worry? That the government will turn into a tyranny once they know where we are? As the article points out the government can already track us through our phones if it has the desire to do so, and private companies like Google and Apple and others already know where we are 24/7 (and if you think govenrment intelligence agencies don't have these companies penetrated six ways from sunday you're naive).

Besides, you can always delete the app.

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15 minutes ago, -TSS- said:

The problem is that these people who are pushing these vaccinations aren't exactly the paragons of honesty themselves. Therefore people have every right to treat them and their ideas with utmost suspicion.

Who are you referring to? As far as I'm aware every single major medical organization in the world wants a vaccine and says it will be the ultimate solution to this virus.

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Australia has had lower COVID19 deaths per capita than New Zealand.

Taiwan, which is a country, has had even lower COVID19 deaths per capital than Australia and they did not even have a lockdown.

 

The premise of the first post is incorrect.

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9 minutes ago, -1=e^ipi said:

Australia has had lower COVID19 deaths per capita than New Zealand.

Taiwan, which is a country, has had even lower COVID19 deaths per capital than Australia and they did not even have a lockdown.

 

The premise of the first post is incorrect.

You're talking about island states which can more easily isolate themselves from travel. Also, Jonathan Kay did a thing on this where he points out that even those countries which are spoken of as having not imposed mandatory lockdowns actually have lockdowns which are self-imposed by the people themselves. Sweden's government didn't impose a mandatory lockdown, but Swedes themselves stopped going out anyway.

Oh, and Taiwan DOES have a contact tracking app. So does Australia, though they haven't made it mandatory yet.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at this kind of data in recent weeks, and trying to tease out the policy ramifications. One of the trends that’s jumped out is that lockdown orders have tended to ratify public behaviour as much as prescribe or circumscribe it. Seattle residents essentially began imposing a lockdown on themselves before their government did, because the city had become one of the country’s leading early COVID-19 hotspots. Likewise, most Swedes didn’t need their government to tell them to stay home. Like everyone else, they get their news from the globalized data dump and anxiety mill known as social media. They all saw what was happening in Italy and elsewhere.

https://quillette.com/2020/05/08/enough-with-the-phoney-lockdown-debate/

Edited by Argus
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44 minutes ago, bcsapper said:

Issues are just issues.  They are not deal breakers.  Sometimes I think people forget about the world they live in.

What will you say when one of these tracking apps is mandatory?  How much are you willing to give before you say no?

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1 minute ago, New World Disorder said:

What will you say when one of these tracking apps is mandatory?  How much are you willing to give before you say no?

I like the convenience of my phone. I decided some time ago that asking it where the nearest whatever was mattered to me more than the possibility they could do something with my tracking data which would cause me any harm (given the unlikelihood of the latter) so I didn't turn it's tracking ability off. I bet most people have made the same decision.

This app would not only tell me where to find a restaurant but warn me if I had been close to someone with a virus which could kill me or those I care about. Which makes it somewhat more important than the convenience of the map/google apps.

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2 minutes ago, Argus said:

I like the convenience of my phone. I decided some time ago that asking it where the nearest whatever was mattered to me more than the possibility they could do something with my tracking data which would cause me any harm (given the unlikelihood of the latter) so I didn't turn it's tracking ability off. I bet most people have made the same decision.

This app would not only tell me where to find a restaurant but warn me if I had been close to someone with a virus which could kill me or those I care about. Which makes it somewhat more important than the convenience of the map/google apps.

What if this becomes mandatory?

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It's all fine and good but some of us don't have a cell phone. As for privacy, people express concern over the government invading our privacy but many of those same people think nothing of sharing their most imtimate details of their lives on social media. In my view, speaking only for myself, privacy is over rated. As that great Canadian sage, Danny Finkleman (Finkleman's 45's) said, people will give up a lot of freedom in exchange for personal security.

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Quote

Australia has had lower COVID19 deaths per capita than New Zealand.

There are problems with Quillette's endorsement of New Zealand as a model in general.

First of all, New Zealand claimed it would be relaxing restrictions this week. The recommendation seems to be increasing restrictions here based on New Zealand's fatality rate. In BC our curve is flattening pretty good too. The fatality rate was always low and is decreasing.  Why would we want more Big Brother to increase restrictions at this point?

New Zealand has a low fatality rate. Is that necessarily a result of their tough restrictions? These tougher restrictions in New Zealand only began a month ago. New Zealand is a Southern island country coming out of seasonal summer with low population density. There are only 5 million people in a small country where tests are easier to acquire and administer. Because the ChiComm virus is often asymptomatic the more tests you can administer the lower your fatality rate might be. 

But if Quillette wants to get hung up on fatality rates America has a better one than Canada. I'd recommend following their model but with the exception of the larger number of tests we're able to acquire per capita we already appear to be following America's model. Just a couple of weeks to a month behind is all.

Edited by Infidel Dog

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21 minutes ago, Argus said:

Besides, you can always delete the app.

Then what is the point? It has to be mandatory one way or another.  I'd like to see an app feature that indicates the number of paranoid anti-surveillance zombies in your vicinity who have phones but are not being traced.  Phone companies should be able to tell us that much with identifying anyone.  Then if can see there are 350 trace apps in my vicinity and only 4 zombies I can deal with that. If however I can see there are 75 zombies I might think twice before walking into a mall or something.

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2 minutes ago, eyeball said:

Then what is the point? It has to be mandatory one way or another.  I'd like to see an app feature that indicates the number of paranoid anti-surveillance zombies in your vicinity who have phones but are not being traced.  Phone companies should be able to tell us that much with identifying anyone.  Then if can see there are 350 trace apps in my vicinity and only 4 zombies I can deal with that. If however I can see there are 75 zombies I might think twice before walking into a mall or something.

Are you trying to make the 'slippery slope' argument for us? That the problem with increasing surveillance is there are always people - often on the top - who want more.

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6 minutes ago, Infidel Dog said:

Are you trying to make the 'slippery slope' argument for us? That the problem with increasing surveillance is there are always people - often on the top - who want more.

Contact trace the people on top. And as I've been saying for years and years, outlaw in-camera lobbying.  The only way for the the public to buy into this is if the Telescreens point both ways.  We see them they see us.

Think about it, there are billions of us and a mere handful of 'them'.

I'm more afraid of my own shadow. 

Edited by eyeball

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6 minutes ago, Queenmandy85 said:

Rue, do we have another one?

Getting your gang together for a little cancel culture are you?

I used to call it the 'Kung flu,' but elsewhere you guys came at me with your bogus slur of 'racist' so rather than bicker I decided to put the blame more precisely where it deserved to be - on the Chinese Communists. You're not going to try to tell me Chinese Communists are a race are you?

Edited by Infidel Dog

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24 minutes ago, New World Disorder said:

What if this becomes mandatory?

I want it to become mandatory. Hadn't you figured that out?

Clearly it won't be permanent. Why would it be? And what do you imagine the government doing with it anyway?

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1 hour ago, bcsapper said:

Issues are just issues.  They are not deal breakers.  Sometimes I think people forget about the world they live in.

Is that supposed to be an answer ? 

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5 minutes ago, Argus said:

I want it to become mandatory. Hadn't you figured that out?

Clearly it won't be permanent. Why would it be? And what do you imagine the government doing with it anyway?

It won't be permanent. Oh well then. If  you say so. 

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1 minute ago, Argus said:

I want it to become mandatory. Hadn't you figured that out?

Clearly it won't be permanent. Why would it be? And what do you imagine the government doing with it anyway?

The immediate danger wouldn't be be that it ,specifically, becomes permanent - only that increased surveillance become circumstantially acceptable for the future. Modern Big Brother is incremental. 

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1 hour ago, WestCanMan said:

Do you think that the gov't doesn't track your location 24/7 by your cel phone anyways? Even before the NSA whistleblower I had heard rumours for a long time that every single phone call that you make is recorded, even if it's not actively monitored by humans. Your privacy is just a figment of your imagination bro. 

IMO the tracker is less of an infringement than an actual quarantine, but this whole covid pandemic is more of a scandal than an actual medical situation now. It's a divisive cesspool of lies & deceit, and a bunch of people who were clinging to what life they had left have become dead political pawns.

My only real takeaway from covid so far is that people are shittier than I originally thought.

Best argument against that monitoring system - our dickhead PM and his crooked cops can say that anyone is a carrier, because it's theoretically a fact some people remain asymptomatic for the whole time that they're carrying the virus. They coud stick that monitor on anyone they wanted. 

Oh well then. 

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24 minutes ago, Infidel Dog said:

New Zealand has a low fatality rate. Is that necessarily a result of their tough restrictions? These tougher restrictions in New Zealand only began a month ago. New Zealand is a Southern island country coming out of seasonal summer with low population density. There are only 5 million people in a small country where tests are easier to acquire and administer. Because the ChiComm virus is often asymptomatic the more tests you can administer the lower your fatality rate might be. 

South Korea's population, on the other hand, exceeds ours, and it is doing vastly better than us with 5 deaths per million vs our 96. And it has a mandatory tracking app.

 

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