May 30, 2020

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Human rights groups strangely unconcerned at the @NYTimes ability to invade our privacy

(This is a Twitter thread I wrote earlier)

@nytimes observation in three parts:

1) It criticizes Israel and @netanyahu for using cell phone records to track people’s locations so it can inform them if they were near someone with COVID-19 saying it is an invasion of privacy.

2) It publishes its own analysis of where Americans have been traveling during the crisis, based on billions of cell phone records. But it insists that the data they used is anonymous.

3)  Last December, it publishes an expose showing how easy it is to figure out who people are based on the same kind of cell phone data that the NYT obviously has access to.

Showing that “anonymous data” is a lie, by their own reporting.

So what, exactly, is the difference between what Israel is doing to help slow down the pandemic and what the NYT is doing to publicize how people are behaving?

Because I cannot see any moral difference between the two.

But there is one significant difference:

 Israel’s surveillance has oversight, it was agreed to by the High Court and the cabinet.
The NYT does its surveillance with no transparency whatsoever.

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