Sunday, October 19, 2014

Could government surveillance extend to train and theater seatings for possible "contact tracing" and "controlled movements" downstream during epidemics?

The possibility of “partial quarantine” in the early stages of pandemics, where there is perhaps some residual uncertainty about transmission that authorities don’t want to talk about, could give more impetus to concerns about privacy from snooping.  For example, I might not want government to know what seat I had occupied on a train (plane you can’t help), or in a movie theater if a health department or even CDC got very aggressive with secondary contact tracing.   Imagine not being allowed to return home from a trip based on a train or plane seat assignment. 

If something unusual happened in a venue, that would be one thing.  But I can’t afford to be grounded on just a speculative whim.
Theoretically, the government could try to get the information from email or text content – although we all know that it sometimes does it without a warrant, or can get one too easily.  

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