During the height of COVID-19, many leaders and officials did not hesitate to throw freedom, individual liberty, and medical consent aside in the name of stopping the virus.
This was demonstrated via authoritarian measures, such as mandatory vaccine passports, lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and government-imposed business closures.
These measures, along with others, were promised to defeat COVID-19. Though it goes without saying that none of it lived up to the hype.
Unfortunately, some communities took additional steps that infringed upon individuals’
rights within the past two years. In the case of Massachusetts, one example involves the unwarranted breach of individuals’ cell phones.
A Gross Abuse of Power
As health officials claimed to be combatting COVID-19 and saving lives, they introduced programs known as “contact tracing.” Officially, contract tracing was designed to monitor who individuals crossed paths with in order to track the spread of COVID-19.
In actuality, one critical and dangerous part of contact tracing involved Massachusetts sneaking contract tracing apps onto the phones of Android users.
Since most people carry their phones with them, this is an effective means of tracking their movements. However, installing such apps without the consent of users violates privacy rights, along with ethical boundaries.
“..(Massachusetts DPH) is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly .. covertly install tracking apps on over one million Android phones as part of the state government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing.”
For your safety.https://t.co/5r7xSKneMN
— IT Guy (@ITGuy1959) November 17, 2022
Because of all this, a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Public Health Department now comes from the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA).
In this lawsuit, NCLA accuses the state of joining forces with Google in order to logistically get the contact tracing app onto people’s Androids.
This litigation likewise stated that when some people caught onto the app’s presence and removed it, the Massachusetts Public Health Department simply had it installed again.
Americans should also be aware that because of the department’s work with Google, the search engine and other groups had the ability to access data beyond contact tracing findings.
More Alarming News Ahead?
Word of the lengths Massachusetts went to in the name of contact tracing is just now coming out. This naturally begs to question what other abuses various governments have imposed that have yet to come out.
Meanwhile, calls for “pandemic amnesty” have arrived. The argument for this amnesty says that all the power abuses, breaches of privacy, and invasions of individual rights should be forgiven since COVID-19 was largely a mystery in 2020 and 2021.
Sorry we called you anti-vaxxers, caused you to lose your jobs, and had your kids thrown out of college. It turns out you were right 🙄pic.twitter.com/Pr1FpKkGxb
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) November 14, 2022
Though stories about Massachusetts teaming up with Google to install unsolicited apps onto people’s phones remind us all of why “pandemic amnesty” is out of the question.