China rolls out fresh data collection campaign to combat coronavirus - Reuters


SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's local governments are ramping up surveillance efforts with new data collection campaigns to better trace residents' moves in public areas, seeking to curb the coronavirus outbreak but heightening privacy concerns. At least 15 provinces and cities with a combined population of over 358 million have announced such "big data" measures this month, adding to a host of monitoring tools already being used, such as facial recognition and phone data tracking. Visitors to office buildings, shopping malls, residential compounds and metro systems are now being asked to scan QR codes using their mobile phones and fill in forms asking for information such as their travel history and body temperature, according to residents and local media reports. Users fill in a questionnaire to obtain a obtain colour-based QR code which then acts as guidance at checkpoints as to whether the person should be quarantined or let through. The outbreak, traced to the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, has killed 2,715 so far and stricken about 78,000 in mainland China.

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