Creating the coronopticon - Countries are using apps and data networks to keep tabs on the pandemic

Publication Title
The Economist
Publication/Creation Date
March 26 2020
The Economist Newspaper Limited (creator)
World Health Organization (WHO) (contributor)
Persuasive Intent

"Mainland China and South Korea have reduced the number of reported new covid-19 cases down to around 100 a day or less; Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan never saw steep rises in the first place (see chart 1). Now they all face the same challenge: how to limit the all-but-inevitable rise in cases that will follow when they relax current controls, a rise which can already be seen in some places. To meet that challenge they are all turning to information technology.

Their efforts, like others elsewhere, are experimental. They risk failure; they also risk adverse side-effects, most obviously on civil liberties. But around 2.5bn people have now been put on some sort of lockdown during the pandemic (see chart 2). Only a fraction of them have been or will be infected, and thus become immune. The rest, when they emerge, will need watching—for their own sakes, and for the sakes of those around them."

Editor’s note: The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter.
HCI Platform
Location on Body

Date archived
May 8 2020
Last edited
June 9 2020
How to cite this entry
The Economist Newspaper Limited. (March 26 2020). "Creating the coronopticon - Countries are using apps and data networks to keep tabs on the pandemic ". The Economist. Fabric of Digital Life. https://fabricofdigitallife.com/index.php/Detail/objects/4536