By John Hayward
The suggestion, if adopted, would mark Communist China’s latest effort to gain political advantage from the pandemic it unleashed, and bring the free world one step closer to implementing China’s totalitarian “social credit system.”
Xi told the G20 summit that a standardized global mechanism for certifying the health of travelers was needed to combat the Wuhan coronavirus and similar plagues in the future. He touted China’s use of a QR barcode system, which uses an app Chinese citizens are required to install on their cell phones.
The app displays a QR code – the square barcodes that have become widely used because they can easily be displayed on a phone screen and scanned by a wide range of devices – which can be checked whenever the individual enters a public venue or uses public transportation. The smartphone app connects to a central database that keeps track of when each citizen was last tested for the coronavirus and whether the results were negative.
“We hope more countries will join this mechanism. We need to further standardize policies and establish fast tracks to facilitate the orderly flow of people,” Xi asserted.
CNN noted that many nations would be skeptical of linking into a global health database, especially if Communist China has anything to do with managing it. Those concerns about privacy and sinister manipulation of sensitive personal data are well-founded.
The New York Times (NYT) reported in March that China’s QR code system was doing a lot more than just classifying its users based on coronavirus risk. The NYT said the mandatory health tracking app “also appears to share information with the police, setting a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides.”
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