Remember that as early as March, the New York Times wrote a report on China’s health code, almost describing the brush strokes of the flood beasts, revealing “a new kind of clamp on personal freedom”.
However, after a few months, it smells really good.
Many countries are gradually realizing that to unblock, there must be an effective way to track viral contacts. And an electronic tracking method can be called a necessary artifact for home isolation and travel.
Unfortunately, this is a little bumpy.
For example, the British government launched its own coronavirus tracking software on May 5th, using the Isle of Wight as a pilot. But months have passed, and the number of downloads has not met expectations. Experts believe that for similar apps to achieve powerful tracking functions, more than 40% of the population need to download and use it to work.
However, it was not until October 2 that the British Department of Health announced that the number of downloads finally exceeded 14 million, compared with the population of the United Kingdom being more than 66 million.
Because it is entirely up to personal will to download or not, the role of the software has been greatly discounted. However, some latecomer countries have chosen new technological routes, such as Bluetooth and encryption technology as the core, which has indeed improved the level of protection of personal privacy.
This is an increasingly delicate process. Countries can learn from each other and promote each other. Unaware of the New York Times, he began to criticize. Looking back now, it’s like a joke.
Transnational travel leniency
It is still so difficult for a country to promote tracking software at home, let alone track people who move across borders. Because some countries’ tracking and quarantine regulations are too much water release, such as the new entry regulations introduced by the United Kingdom that “if you have money, you can not have to quarantine for 14 days”.
On 3 December, the Transport Minister tweeted, “From 4 a.m. on December 5th, if you are a business person who has made a great contribution to the British economy, even if you are not from an exempt country, you will no longer need to quarantine (14 days) to arrive in the UK, for our economy and employment.”
Unsurprisingly, this new regulation has been criticized by British netizens.
“So the rich don’t spread the virus, while other British people need to abide by the lockdown rules and can’t live a normal life? Can you tell me what the scientific basis behind this policy is?”
The British health authorities have previously endorsed the new policy, saying that exempting the 14-day quarantine for “high-value” passengers will not increase the risk of the spread of the epidemic. But obviously this is not convincing.
“At first, I thought it was funny. However, this is not. This is naked corruption. “Mr. Minister, can we understand that, you mean that COVID-19 is so selective that it is not so contagious?”
Imagine why domestic travel does not need to be quarantined as long as you hold a green code, while cross-border travel requires mandatory quarantine for 14 days? One of the reasons is that domestic health codes have achieved mutual recognition, but the international community has not yet reached this point.
Because the epidemic prevention regulations vary from country to country, the standards and isolation measures for personnel isolation vary, the testing is different (not necessarily as accurate, not necessarily as popular), and the data are not interconnected, so the “health codes” of various countries do not recognize each other.
To achieve cross-border travel, you can also carry a health code smoothly. The correct answer must rely on the coordinated actions of various countries to achieve the same track and the same book as the text of the “health code”, rather than judge who can be exempted from quarantine by looking at the passenger’s background. No one has any privileges in the face of the epidemic.
Several cross-border attempts
In April this year, Apple and Google jointly developed a tracking system. After all, the two giants have a user share of one third of the world’s population. However, this move raises doubts whether the intervention of large technology companies in national health systems will bring cybersecurity risks to a single country?
Also in early April, Germany led several European countries to launch the Pan-European Privacy Protection Contact Tracking (PEPP-PT) project. After nearly a month of efforts, more than 130 experts were unable to reach a unified “development standard”. The reason for the failure is the concern about the “right to privacy”, a deeply rooted value in Europe.
Therefore, the creation of a health code is not just as simple as to understand “negative”, “positive”, “red code” and “green code”. It also contains the value of how much “I” is willing to transfer part of his personal rights to share this information with “others”. This “other” can be a technology giant, a local government, or a different country.
Dr. Tokswad, who studies economic epidemiology at Cambridge University, believes: “Every society must decide how to view these costs (costs) and benefits. I think different societies now have different options for international cooperation, and in principle, it is a good idea to coordinate and cooperate in different countries.
At the G20 summit on November 21, President Xi proposed to “establish an international mutual recognition mechanism of health codes based on nucleic acid test results and in the form of internationally accepted QR codes, hoping that more countries will participate”, and called on the international community to work together, unite and cooperate, and work together to deal with the epidemic.
On November 24, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the international mutual recognition mechanism of health code is in its infancy, and the follow-up work will focus on inter-state mechanism mutual recognition, information protection, data application, etc. China will communicate with relevant parties in this regard.
Fighting the epidemic, like addressing many global challenges such as climate change and counter-terrorism, requires cooperation and multilateralism. Returning to the mainland and silos will only make the “cost” higher.