back to article Hong Kong coronavirus quarantine evaders collared by cops with the help of smartphone-tracking tech

Hong Kong says it used a "government electronic monitoring system" to nab potential novel coronavirus carriers who flouted quarantine regulations. By monitoring system, it most likely means its wristband-based smartphone-tracking technology. A late Tuesday announcement from the Special Administrative Region's government stated …

  1. theExecutive

    1984

    “The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

    ― George Orwell, 1984

    1. raving angry loony

      Re: 1984

      You theoretically have to be alive and not critically ill to be happy.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: 1984

        But almost all of the population will be alive and not seriously ill - this isn't "The Stand".

        1. raving angry loony

          Re: 1984

          Ah yes, and fuck those who do get seriously ill, including healthcare workers who don't have a choice but to be in harm's way? And fuck those who die and their families, is that it? Not to mention the overwhelmed healthcare facilities. Lovely attitude. Eugenicist, are you? Let the strong survive (maybe), screw everyone else?

          So far about 18-20,000 deaths (again, depending on whose numbers and how up-to-date they are). That's so far, and rates are increasing, not decreasing, except in areas that have actually taken adequate measures (so, China and Italy, apparently, but not the USA or many parts of Canada yet).

          https://virusncov.com/

          https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

          "Not the Stand" isn't exactly a measure that should be used, unless one is a patron member of the VHEM/VHEMT.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            @raving angry loony -- Re: 1984

            What are you getting all huffy about? Your rant accurately describes the foolish babblings of Tejano Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. And also seems to accurately describe the motivations behind the Douchebag-In-Chief himself. (Although I do believe Cheetolini's motivation stems more from his portfolio. Still, his xenophobia does indicate eugenicist tendencies.)

            You chose your handle well, Grasshopper

  2. IceC0ld Silver badge

    never ceases to amaze me just how invasive we have allowed tech to become

    I DO realise that we probably walked into this with our eyes open, but seriously, this is going down rabbit holes that GO could NEVER, in his deepest, darkest moments have envisioned,

    Do seem to recall in relation to GO, that although he may have foreseen the overwatch society that we now live in, it is highly unlikely he would have believed we would buy the bloody cameras ourselves .....................

  3. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    Not so smart tech

    The HK Government has now admitted that the wristband and app does not work as advertised. “If the person only left their place without their phone, there is no signal from the band [triggered],” Lam (Gov. CIO) said. The only point in using the wristband, Lam added, was that a separate smartphone app, which has location-sharing functions, would randomly request scanning of a QR code from the band.

    I guess they haven't considered the possibilities of copying the QR code?

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Not so smart tech

      Why not simply embed an RFID tracking chip into every citizen? After all, it is the only way to be sure ©.

      1. Tomislav

        Re: Not so smart tech

        RFID has low range. Now, if you introduced mandatory personal QR code worn on the chest (for example on the left side) and on your arm below the left shoulder...

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Not so smart tech

          Just make that tattooed on the forehead.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not so smart tech

        Quite apart from its usefulness in the present crisis, implanting RFID devices in everybody could be of great help in identifying dead bodies that would otherwise be classed as John Doe. Of course, as it's only a short range technology, it couldn't be used for mass surveillance (yet!). I have one implanted in my right wrist, for access to my front door and my car, but that was for my own purposes, not for ID.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: Not so smart tech

          anon> I have one implanted in my right wrist, for access to my front door and my car,

          Where do you keep the mechanical back-up key for the car when your electronic lock system innevitably fails?

          1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

            Re: Not so smart tech

            Where do you keep the mechanical back-up key

            Stuck where the sun don't shine - obviously.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not so smart tech

              In my jacket pocket, on my key ring. Obviously, I wouldn't rely solely on the electronic locks, but it is so much more convenient to just reach out for the handle and know that it's going to be unlocked (the front door lock takes about a second to respond, but the car is instantaneous) than fumbling around in the dark and pouring rain to find the right key on a bunch of about ten, including some supermarket loyalty fobs and similar. If the technology is available and adds to the convenience, then why not use it?

              1. Dr_N Silver badge

                Re: Not so smart tech

                anon>but it is so much more convenient to just reach out for the handle and know that it's going to be unlocked

                Yeah mine can do that too. Without me having to undergo surgery.

                Disable, because security.

              2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Not so smart tech

                Because you should also consider the potential downsides, and these any manifold.

              3. Someone Else Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Not so smart tech

                You know, my Toyota Corolla (2017 vintage) does the same thing, and all I have to do is have my fob on me (which I would need to start the car anyway); no implant needed.

                How old is your fucking car, anyway?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Not so smart tech

                  Why the profanity? It's 1994 model, heavily modified and runs on LPG, so it's green. It should have been my Classic, just for shows, etc., but the failure of the ECU on my modern car has forced me to use it as my daily driver, until I can afford a new ECU for the shopping trolley.

                  PS, regarding the comment about surgery, no surgery involved, just a needle, similar to having a blood test but putting something in instead of taking something (vital) out.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Not so smart tech

          "Of course, as it's only a short range technology, it couldn't be used for mass surveillance (yet!)."

          Don't just guess about that. It depends where you are, but if you live in a sufficiently built-up area, it wouldn't be that hard to put a bunch of long-range readers around. Expensive, yes, but if we're dealing with surveillance services, they have plenty of cash and no oversight. You remember the people who started looking for contactless payment methods with RFID scanners? Imagine something that works at that range on every building at street level and everywhere there is a WiFi access point indoors. Miss a couple as you walk down the hall and they'll still find you before you get to the stairwell. The physical tag that identifies a person being embedded into or attached to them is rightly the stuff of dystopian literature. Let's keep it there.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not so smart tech

            "if you live in a sufficiently built-up area"

            I don't, I live in a small village in the Welsh Marches. There is an infra-red detector across the end of my drive, by the road gate, so if anyone comes onto my property, I'll know about it and they'll be on camera. Only trouble is, the local wildlife tend to set it off occasionally, last week it was a fox at 3AM. Must decrease the sensitivity so I get fewer false positives.

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