China has developed and launched an app that allows users to detect whether their health has been compromised and if they are at risk of catching the coronavirus.
According to Xinhua, Chinese government departments and the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation collaborated to create the app. Data was provided by health and transport authorities.
The app is a “close contact” detector that tells users if they have been in close proximity to a person that has been confirmed or suspected of having the virus. Those who are at risk are advised to stay home and make contact with health authorities.
The development of this technology speaks volumes of the surveillance that the Chinese population is constantly under.
Once registered, users can scan a QR code on their smartphones to send in questions. Users can then check the status of up to three ID numbers of other users.
A technology lawyer based in Hong Kong at the law firm DLA Piper Carolyn Bigg spoke to the BBC and said: “In China, and across Asia, data is not seen as something to be locked down, it’s something that can be used. Provided it’s done in a transparent way, with consent where needed.
“From a Chinese perspective this is a really useful service for people… It’s a really powerful tool that really shows the power of data being used for good.”