China uses apps to control pandemic

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A program, designed by tech giant Alibaba, is run by the Chinese government that sorts people into colors.

Every morning at the same time, the messaging service of the China Unicom telephone company begins with its bombardment of notifications: “Please download the application and complete the daily health check. Your information will only be used for prevention and control of epidemics, “says one message after another.

When you open the link, a drawing of a nurse with a mask appears, inviting you to record all your data and to tell what your last trips have been. Then he asks if you have a fever, cough, or breathing problems.

If yes, in a few minutes a guy wearing a red armband with the symbols of the Communist Party of China will appear on your doorstep to take your temperature, ask you more questions, ask you not to leave home in a few days and give yourself up. a sheet with a list of the closest hospitals.

There is also another app, designed by tech giant Alibaba. Alipay Health Code is a software administered by the Chinese government that classifies people in three colors: red, yellow and green.

If you are among the last, don’t worry, you can move freely. You will have a QR code on your mobile with which you can enter the metro or the few restaurants that are open. But if you are yellow or red, you better not leave home.

It will be signaled by the system, which will immediately notify the police. You will become a “person at risk”, that is, you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or have been in the area of ​​high contagion for the past 14 days.

This application is already mandatory in more than 200 Chinese cities. The American newspaper The New York Times published a report in which they had done an analysis of the software code for this program.

“The system does more than decide in real time whether someone is at risk of contagion. It also appears to share information with the police, establishing a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides,” said the newspaper of the North American country.

Although the authorities, through the state news agency Xinhua, have ensured that all the data collected will only be used to fight the coronavirus outbreak and that it will then be deleted.

China has long been cloistered due to the Wuhan coronavirus. More than 40 days from the largest sanitary lock in history. The World Health Organization (WHO) praises the draconian measures that the Asian giant has applied to contain the virus.

The closure of large cities, isolating more than 56 million people in Hubei province, closing shops, banning transport … And, of course, using the best technology. President Xi Jinping specifically asked the technology sector to help combat the epidemic.

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