Thane civic body starts using an app to monitor movements of self-quarantined people
The app is supposed to deliver timely updates to the municipal control room and should be installed on the end user’s smartphone as well.
Thane civic body is reportedly using a smartphone app to track those people in the area who have been home-quarantined. This tracking through digital surveillance will keep a tab on people's movements and will in-turn help them curb the spread of novel coronavirus, according to a report by The Times of India. The app is supposed to deliver timely updates to the municipal control room and should be installed on the end user's smartphone as well. How it works is that the user is given 20-metre radius as a breathing margin. If he/she goes beyond that, the authorities get alerted.
As mentioned by the officials to the news website, tracking 1800 self-quarantined people in Thane district is a difficult process. The app will help them keep tabs on people more easily. "The app would help mitigate the chances of people venturing out of home as they would then face isolation," said an official to TOI. "Currently, civic staff cannot do the rounds of homes to ensure compliance."
However, one of the biggest downside of this technology is that since it is based on the movements recorded by the app, a person can simply leave the smartphone at home and go anywhere, misleading the authorities. "If the person leaves the phone at home and steps out, there is no way to know this," added the official.
This piece of news comes days after it was reported that at least three police departments in India are planning on leveraging people's phones to make them stay at home through the coronavirus pandemic.
Innefu Labs, the same people who made the Delhi Police's Automated Facial Recognition Software that was used to monitor crowds during the recent riots and protests in the city, has created a platform called Unmaze. The app, which was under tests until few days ago, was said to work in the same way as mentioned above.