According to the index, there are currently 23 countries tracking their citizens through cell phones, with ‘alternative digital tracking measures’ being active in 22 countries.
A digital rights group is warning that governments worldwide are working with big tech firms to develop software that uses people’s smartphones as a tracking application for health authorities.
The live index also shows that “physical surveillance technologies” are being used in ten countries, and that coronavirus related censorship has been “imposed by 12 governments.” Lastly, the live index shows that internet shutdowns continue in four countries “despite the outbreak.”
Woodhams said that unless these “highly invasive” measures are not tracked, increased surveillance measures will become normalized.
“Without adequate tracking, there is a danger that these new, often highly invasive, measures will become the norm around the world,” Woodhams said in the Business Insider report.
“Although some may appear entirely legitimate, many pose a risk to citizens’ right to privacy and freedom of expression,” adding “documenting the new measures is the first step to challenging potential overreach, providing scrutiny and holding corporations and governments to account.”