Tracking The Trackers

Given the diversity of Asia, it’s no surprise that COVID-19 tracking apps across the continent are also powered by an assortment of frontier technologies.

AsianScientist (Oct. 4, 2021) – While contact tracing is key to stopping a pandemic, manually tracking down individuals based on imperfect recollections is not only slow and laborious, but also often incomplete. As COVID-19 raced across the world, governments turned to a pocket-sized contact tracer that nearly everyone carries around: their mobile phone.

What followed was a proliferation of apps, each navigating the trade-off between protection and privacy in its own way. Here’s a snapshot of the most common systems used in Asia and the technologies behind them.

This article was first published in the July 2021 print version of Asian Scientist Magazine.

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Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine. Illustration: Oikeat Lam/Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Jill Arul graduated with a degree in Communication Studies from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, with a keen interest for science and a passion for storytelling.

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