Contact Tracing in the Stalker State

Google and Apple have partnered to create a Bluetooth-based app that collects location data to notify users if they’ve come in close contact with anyone who tests positive for Covid-19. Hamid Khan, an organizer with the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, is sounding an alarm.

From the Chinese Exclusion Act to COINTELPRO and the early criminalization of people with HIV, the history of policing the body in the name of public safety is long, Khan reminds us. “The measures we approve today can’t be seen outside of that context.”

Khan fears the rollout of contact tracing in the United States will accelerate private data collection and its weaponization by the carceral state. Public health resources should be used for mass community education in the fight against Covid-19, not in the gross expansion of surveillance, he argues.

For more information on the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, please visit:

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Laura Flanders Show

Days of wonder, days of rage. We're living through an information revolution as profound as any since Gutenberg and the printing press, but are we the people, the so-called "users", using the technology or is the technology using us and for what ends? How can we harness this particular transformation for good? That’s the question, and we have some answers from Data & Society fellow Chancey Fleet, Team Human's Douglas Rushkoff, and technologist, educator, and organizer Nabil Hassein.

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