[Governance] <Covid-19 and the Right to Privacy : an Analysis of South Korean Experiences> Report published

Byoung-il Oh antiropy at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 21:57:45 EST 2020

Two organizations, Korean Progressive Network JINBONET and Institute for
Digital Rights, jointly published a report titled <Covid-19 and the Right
to Privacy : an Analysis of South Korean Experiences>.

South Korea’s Covid-19 response has been considered successful so far, but
at the same time, punishment and control-oriented policies have raised many
concerns from a human rights perspective. In particular, excessive
collection and disclosure of personal data in the process of
epidemiological investigation and contact tracing of infected Covid-19
people resulted in infringement of digital rights . In some cases,
patients’ personal data and movements were disclosed, causing them to
suffer hate speech on the Internet, and more than 10,000 people’s access
information to mobile base stations was collected in the name of tracking
contacts. Despite opposition from the National Human Rights Commission of
Korea and human rights organizations, electronic positioning devices (so
called electronic bracelets) that have been applied to sex offender so far,
are also forced to be worn  to violatiors of self-quarantine. it is
mandatory to make a list of people entering certain facilities.

Although the policies are based on the public interest of responding to
infectious disease, it needs to be improved to minimize human rights
violations. It is necessary to check for the effectiveness of the
infectious disease response, for any less intrusive means, and for
sufficient safeguards to prevent abuse. Because Covid-19 won’t be the last
infectious disease.

This report summarizes the cases and issues of digital rights violations
that have been controversial during the response to COVID-19 in S.Korea.
Based on the report, the Korean Progressive Network JINBONET and
Institution for Digital Rights will conduct further research next year.
This report was produced with the support of the Association for
Progressive Communications (APC)and will be published in English as well as
in Korean. We hope this report will be used as a source of discussion with
civil society and experts over the world on policies to better deal with
infectious disease, protecting human rights.

You can download the report here: https://act.jinbo.net/wp/43672/

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