It’s time to track people’s smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin.

Professor Marylouise McLaws, a technical adviser to the World Health Organization’s Infection Prevention and Control Global Unit, praises Singapore, which has a system where the government sends an SMS to citizens, who click a link which uses the phone’s location services to report their location.

It’s an intriguing system, with the advantage that citizens can easily opt out after the crisis, by simply refusing to participate.

We may need to allow government to track everybody’s locations during the duration of the pandemic. But we need to roll back surveillance when the emergency is over. And once government has been given power, it’s really, really hard to roll that back.

Mitch W @MitchW