Do India's Covid-19 patients have a right to privacy?

Author: Sneha P

The article was first published in The Wire on July 22nd.2020. The views are of the individual author.

As India progresses through its ‘unlock’ phases, we can expect to see a proliferation of digital technologies to contain the novel coronavirus’s spread. In these efforts, conserving patient privacy would be critical.

However, many government bodies in India have somewhat deprioritised this issue; some state governments  even mandate selfies and facial recognition. Other countries have performed these same functions in a way that preserves the users’ privacy, using de-identified, aggregated data and without exporting data from the users’ phones.

This begs the question: does patient privacy have to be compromised for public health?

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