Wellington, we have a problem – The real mass surveillance danger in mandatory tracing data

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Look.

We all love the Chippy.

He’s brilliant, likeable, highly intelligent and can make a cheeky joke about his spread your legs gaffe that’s just risqué enough before the joyless puritanical woke start a non-consent petition on Action Station because a heteronormative white cis male used sex as word play during a public statement.

Chippy’s got it all.

However while we all love the cheeky Chippy, his assurances that mandatory tacking data will only be used by public health track and trace teams means sweet fuck all!

Covid-19 app data protection: Government resists calls for new law

As of midnight last night, it is mandatory for most businesses and event organisers to give customers a way to record their visit.

While no one can be forced to scan in, it is being made increasingly difficult to resist and there are fears tracing data could be accessed by businesses, police or social services.

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The Ministry of Health is running reassuring ads saying the digital diary on the government’s NZ Covid Tracer app “is kept safe and secure on your phone, and will only be shared with a contact tracer if you allow it”.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said there was plenty of protection.

“The government has been at pains to reassure people that the information they supply to assist with the critical task of contact tracing will not be used for any other purposes,” Hipkins said in a statement.

“We will not budge on this.”

However, many academics, Māori, Pasifika and lawyers are demanding more specific legislation.

Jacinta Fa’alili-Fidow of the Pacific Data Sovereignty Network says the collective benefit of getting the data is proven, but the Minister’s reassurances are “certainly not enough”.

“And we certainly don’t think that the punitive measures that are in place are sufficient either.”

She wants tougher fines for data abusers.

Simpson Grierson law firm partner Karen Ngan said the risks were real despite the Privacy Act, Bill of Rights Act and and the Judicial Review Procedure Act cited by Minister Hipkins, and the Covid privacy statement itself.

“It still doesn’t stop another government agency, particularly a law enforcement agency, seeking that information from business or … seeking a search warrant or a production order,” Ngan said.

Look, we can’t have this data being exploited by other state agencies beyond health professionals trying to contain a pandemic!

We all agree to curtail our personal liberty for the collective good and that now extends to mandatory collection of our private journeys.

The State must legislatively act now to enshrine this enormous collection of private information within clear law that removes its use from anything other than the public health containment of this pandemic!

NZ is coming out of lockdown 4 into a world of restricted liberties and mandatory social distancing, it will not be the freedom nor agency we have sacrificed for and to now use compulsory information in a way that is exploitable by a mass surveillance state would be a betrayal of our good will!

If the Government has legislative time to ram through gay conversion laws for crimes they can’t quantify, they sure as Christ have time to pass legislation that protects our collective privacy that we have agreed to part with in the fight against this virus!

Around the world we are seeing Governments using this pandemic to build an intrusive mass surveillance infrastructure that goes even deeper into monitoring us.

We have sacrificed too much to now lose so much.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I absolutely agree, why would anyone who may have been here for years but may be regarded as an overstayer sign in.

    Interestingly I was in my local post office on Wednesday in Otautahi and there was no way to sign in for me as I don’t have a cellphone.

  2. …”to now use compulsory information in a way that is exploitable by a mass surveillance state would be a betrayal of our good will!”…

    ————–
    Precisely. A good article. This is answering many concerns of so many people who are travelling through and observing this trend of creeping govt and ministerial control, and I would say many people are having a sense of unease about it all.

  3. It could be worse:

    Hipkins Labor Party equivalent in the state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, is promoting not just mandatory tracking but a vaccination certification app that would deny the unvaccinated from entry to clubs, bars, restaurants, sports grounds and other public venues.

    Meanwhile the Federal Police in Aussie have already been caught tapping into the tracing app data for other purposes.

  4. I always see Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter at the
    Daily Planet, mentored by Lois Lane and Clark Kent
    I reckon Chippy is a dead ringer, the boyish cheekiness, a certain innocence.

  5. Here’s a point.
    If we are to make contact tracing mandatory via the ‘tracer app’, why not make business and/or cell phone proiders give FREE mobile data, PURELY for this app to work.
    Because I’m sure at least one of the muppets in the ‘bureaucracy of Govt’ realises that it DOESN’T work unless you have mobile data set/available on your cell phone. D’OH !!!!

  6. Such protection would be a good first step, but Covid data collection is a drop in the ocean compared to the intrusive and all pervasive spying by Big Tech – facebook, google, etc. Elon Musk and his network of satellites. And who knows what he NSA is collecting, my guess is “everything”.

  7. Deep State bureaucrats -obsessed with getting their pension – which means justifying their job – don’t make a mistake – which means do as little as possible
    – but absolutely essential – taking addle pated MPs for rides in helicopters and cars with flashing lights – which means – spreading fear and loathing – and as always – look to history for lessons for history repeats.
    As Voltaire penned: “Beware of the words “internal security,” for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.”

  8. AO/NZ has foreign ( And home grown ones desperate to come back to the place they plundered.) billionaires cuing up to walk right past our immigration ministry and all over our OIO and now? After the pete precedent and after the larry precedent and God only knows who else? I think it’s safe to assume we’re no longer AO/NZ as we knew it.
    We AO/NZ’ers are an appendix to a paragraph in a booklet buried under the building plans of oligarchs who only want one thing from us… To all drop dead in an orderly manner in an area that can be easily land-filled to at least 2 meters deep.
    Data collection’s been happening here for years in readiness for such a day. Compulsory to enrol but please yourself whether you vote? I mean c’mon?
    Vehicle registration and drivers license, gun licenses, the whole two forms of ID wank, the sinister cash flow card, csc card and as we leap to Amazon’s killer deals while Amazon collects your very most intimate personal details, I hope the plastic shit you bought off *Mephistopheles was worth it.
    Do many people not yet realise that what’s about to happen is beyond the Survivors TV series ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivors_(1975_TV_series) and is heading into a ‘The Last of Us’ play station game scenario. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_of_Us )
    And of course we must share our personal details to enjoy the services and amenities we tax payers pay for. There’d be nothing wrong with that and I doubt we could now function as efficiently as we do if we didn’t share our details in as trusting a ( Ignorant ) manner.
    But who else has our details? We know that the most dangerous global criminal underworld elements already do; the dreaded bankster.
    AO/NZ should devise a different set of plans for what’s happening right now and those plans must be entirely new. We’re in grave fucking danger in my opinion and soon the laws, our laws, the laws we abide by will go out the window and new laws, the laws of the hyper rich will come flying back in.
    *If you really, really want to have a great time not sleeping tonight then read this?
    The Guardian.
    ‘A managerial Mephistopheles’: inside the mind of Jeff Bezos
    “But the idea of “boycotting Amazon” arises out of a misreading of what Amazon actually is, and of its position in the contemporary marketplace. Amazon is not, and has not been for many years, merely a gigantic online shop that you can chose either to patronise or not. It is also, increasingly, the infrastructure undergirding the internet itself. Even if my task here was to convince you, the reader, that Amazon was bad and that you should boycott it – which we both know it is, and that you should – we would both of us still, in a strictly technical sense, be using Amazon. (Another, perhaps more accurate way of putting this would be to say that Amazon would still be using us.)”
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/03/jeff-bezos-and-the-world-amazon-made?utm_source=pocket_mylist

  9. Deep State bureaucrats -obsessed with getting their pension – which means justifying their job – don’t make a mistake – which means do as little as possible
    – but absolutely essential – taking addle pated MPs for rides in helicopters and cars with flashing lights – which means – spreading fear and loathing – and as always – look to history for lessons for history repeats.
    As Voltaire penned: “Beware of the words “internal security,” for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.”

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