How Covid-19 Helped Govt Control Your Data & You – By Radhika Radhakrishnan
Indians over 60 or over 45 with comorbidities can now register for vaccination against Covid-19 but mainly through a government portal or the Aarogya Setu application. Even if registration is offline, your details will be added to a government database and you will get a certificate with a digital QR code. Such data-enabled surveillance undermines data privacy, autonomy and dignity of individuals and specifically disadvantaged women, research has shown, including my own….
Surveillance results in mobility restrictions. When such surveillance is enforced by criminalising people’s actions without understanding their social contexts, then it is not the disease, but the bodies of people that are controlled through their data. One such method of surveillance was the use of drones during the lockdown. “People were not getting medicine because if they left the house, drones were coming and monitoring, and people were scared, so they’d go back inside,”….
Traced through mobile phone data, some states also released public lists with personal details of people suspected to be in the vicinity of the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi when a religious congregation was organised there by the Tablighi Jamaat. As Article 14 reported in April 2020, the misuse of these data started a spiral of Islamophobia, leavened by fake news and hyperbole….