Technology could make fighting COVID less restrictive but privacy will take a hit


Two of the nations held up as exemplars of how to fight COVID were Taiwan and New Zealand, but the approaches were very different: One has locked down parts of its population multiple times, and the other with more experience of respiratory viruses, has avoided such approaches.

A recent academic paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand examined the two nations and raised a number of questions that deserve to be considered in light of a year of lockdowns, contact tracing, outbreaks, and other restrictions on the movement of people.

The central push of the paper is that as New Zealand has kept individual privacy as a paramount concern, this has led directly to the use of city or nationwide lockdowns, which it has labelled as a blunt instrument.

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