Opinion: Coronavirus concerns are not carte blanche to snoop

European countries (especially the Germanic ones) have a heightened sense of privacy compared to Asia. The debate is raging about the trade off between loss of privacy and effective tracing of COVID-19 outbreaks…:

[…] These are the most worrying examples of a general surveillance trend going on in Europe which raises concerns about its compatibility with human rights standards governing data protection.

The European Court of Human Rights has acknowledged that restrictions can take place and that the use of personal data may be necessary in certain emergency situations. However, it also stressed that states can do so only under exceptional and precise conditions while offering adequate legal safeguards and independent supervision. They must also ensure that the measures adopted be based on the case-law, remain compatible with the desired aim, be the least intrusive possible and be lifted once the reason for introducing them no longer exists.

If the governments do not respect these legal boundaries, they risk endangering our rights without necessarily protecting our health. They will also risk losing public support, which is an indispensable feature in public health efforts.

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Original article here