Is Snowden Right?

Yes, yes he is. The pandemic has allowed breaches of privacy to be more common and, as a result, has been normalized. Even if these companies have been acquiring and using this information in the past, before all this happened, if it had been disclosed to the public, there would have been some pushback. Now, however, we’ve all just accepted that this needs to happen in order to combat the virus, without really looking into whether or not these measures are actually efficient and effective. Snowden claimed that using someone’s location in relation to their phone isn’t actually accurate since the locations are too broad, and when it comes to tracking hundreds of thousands of cases, it doesn’t help. However, what if the companies providing this information for the public, increase the effectiveness of it? What happens when they use this information in the future for something not related to covid? We are giving them unrestricted access in hopes that they use it for good, but what happens when they take advantage? Which will happen because one thing we’ve seen in the world’s history that seems to take place, regardless of when and where, is that people in power will take advantage of the resources and information they have in order to gain and remain in power.

Also, the pandemic gave governments a reason to impose restrictions on freedoms and rights, such as setting a curfew, shutting down restaurants and businesses, forcing businesses to support working from home, halting rent, enforcing mask mandates. With this precedent set, they will most likely continue passing restrictions like this in the future for other situations, whether they are as serious as this endemic or not.

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