Many Asian Nations Including China, Myanmar in Surveillance-Related Risk

By webmanager, Bloomberg | Quint 1st Oct 20 9:57 am

A person shows her green health code status to a security guard before entering a grocery store in Beijing, China. (Photographer: Yan Cong/Bloomberg) Copyright © BloombergQuint


If Asian nations like China and Pakistan carry on with the state surveillance after flattening the curve, citizens’ privacy remains at risk. The UK-based consulting firm, Verisk Maplecroft, has reported that Pakistan and China are continuing with violations of citizens’ privacy at a shocking rate.

The continent is now the hotspot for privacy breaches and controls on political rights. China ranks 14th, Pakistan at 4th, and North Korea follows.

The report sheds light on the secretive militant-tacking surveillance system monitored by Pakistan for tracking the coronavirus patients. In India, it is mandatory for employees to download a government-run virus-tracking application on their phones before going back to work.

Virus surveillance technology has become a risk since the governments are going to have unrestricted access to personal data related to medical history, location, and other confidential information.

The report noted, “In countries with a questionable civil and political rights record, the danger lies in authorities exploiting such data for political ends to stymie opposition and curtail free speech.”

Sofia Nazalya, a senior analyst at Verisk Maplecroft said, “Companies need to watch out. They need to see that this is an emerging risk.

“There’s no end in sight yet for the coronavirus. And although we are getting used to the new normal, companies and individuals are sleep walking into it.”

Philippines, India, and Cambodia rank 88th, 77th, and 50th respectively for having the risk of violating privacy.  Thailand and Myanmar are at “extreme risk” among the Asian countries breaching civil and political rights.

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