By Raymond Zhong
- May 26, 2020, 4:43 a.m. ET
China’s Virus Apps May Outlast the Outbreak, Stirring Privacy Fears
With the disease there mostly under control, officials are looking for new uses for the government software that’s now on many phones.
At the height of China’s coronavirus outbreak, officials made quick use of the fancy tracking devices in everybody’s pockets — their smartphones — to identify and isolate people who might be spreading the illness.
Months later, China’s official statistics suggest that the worst of the epidemic has passed there, but the government’s monitoring apps are hardly fading into obsolescence. Instead, they are tiptoeing toward becoming a permanent fixture of everyday life, one with potential to be used in troubling and invasive ways.