‘The masterful and carefully constructed lead paragraph in MIT’s Technology Review article Five things we need to do to make contact tracing really work states,
The ongoing pandemic is fertile ground for opportunistic hucksters, loud frauds, and coronavirus deniers who attack or blame everyone and everything from Chinese-Americans to Bill Gates to 5G networks. The latest front in this bizarre war: contact tracing.
You can see the clever use of words to conclude that anyone who would dare to criticize “contact tracing” is thrown in with “opportunistic hucksters, loud frauds and coronavirus deniers”. Furthermore, these deniers apparently make wild accusations, blaming “everyone and everything from Chinese-Americans to Bill Gates to 5G Networks.”
(Oh, you poor, ignorant masses who live in darkness and have so misunderstood science. When will you just shut up and start trusting those who have PhDs and all kinds of important letters after their names?)
MIT, on the other hand, positions itself as being in the “reasonable center”, doing responsible things in the name of solving a problem that must be solved. What does MIT recommend?
- Task 1: Hire 100,000 manual tracers
- Task 2: Protect privacy
- Task 3: Ensure that tracing covers as many people as possible
- Task 4: Accept that technology alone cannot solve this problem
- Task 5. And do it all, now.
Addressing Objections On Privacy
After the shock of hiring 100,000 manual tracers, the writer anticipates the typical objection over invasion of privacy and seeks to overcome it:
Medical surveillance has repeatedly proved to be a life-saving tool, however, and Apple and Google say they are making privacy a priority by building decentralized systems designed to make malicious surveillance difficult while also providing key data to public health authorities. (emphasis added)
But, aren’t Google and Apple the two tech giants who know exactly where every phone (and its owner) is at all times? Don’t they have 100% of our personal identification data plus ancillary information about our purchases, preferences, travels, medical history, etc? Haven’t they already been investigated and fined by governments for mishandling customer data?
And, apparently MIT, et al, have no problem in throwing HIPPA legislation out the door once and for all. You remember HIPPA, right? That’s the form you are almost forced to sign whenever you enter any type of medical facility.
HIPPA is an actual US law (imagine, a real law passed by Congress) that stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It was passed in 2003 to provide privacy standards to protect a patient’s medical records and other health information, and yet companies like Google already have the full health records of millions of US citizens without their knowledge or consent.’