Health v. Privacy in the Age of Cyber Surveillance

As States around the world struggle with rising figures of those infected with coronavirus, they are increasingly turning to cyber-surveillance. Increasingly, governments are investing in and rolling out smartphone apps to track citizens’ movements, trace locations and map outbreaks in a bid to tackle COVID-19. While not without its benefits, the proliferation of cyber surveillance raises important concerns regarding health rights and privacy of ordinary citizens.

The COVID-19 Law & Policy Challenge

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to create turmoil across the world, states are faced with an unprecedented policy challenge in addressing the pandemic. In order to play our part, RSIL has dedicated its resources to conducting extensive research on how Pakistan can cope in these uncertain circumstances from a law & policy perspective.

The Spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is a highly communicable disease, labelled as a modern-era pandemic and a public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Spreading throughout the world, it has infected millions, and claimed the lives of more than 170,000 people. Countries all over are faced with the unenviable challenge of balancing the health of their citizens — with stay-at-home orders, closure of industries, etc — and the need to ensure that social safety nets to maintain the livelihoods of the poorest demographics.