Society is changing fast and being thrust into the new era of digital surveillance and what looks much like a post-apocalyptic world unfolding before our eyes. In France, video surveillance cameras will now monitor how many people are wearing masks, and whether or not they are complying with social distancing when the coronavirus lockdown is eased next week.
The monitoring software has reportedly been installed at outdoor markets and on buses and there is anticipation that many other cities will likely adapt to this digital surveillance. According to the French firm Datakalab, it states that its software does not violate EU data privacy law.
“No image is stored or transmitted, ensuring that personal information is protected,” Datakalab said, announcing its collaboration with Cannes city hall, ahead of the 11 May relaxation of France’s tough lockdown.
Meanwhile, In China Robots are reportedly delivering meals, while cameras are pointed at the front door of residents. According to a report from Yahoo News, China’s methods to enforce coronavirus quarantines is resembling a sci-fi dystopia for legions of people.
At one quarantine hotel in central Beijing, a guard reportedly sits at a desk on each floor to monitor all movements of citizens while a three-foot-tall cylindrical robot delivers bottles of water, meals, and packages to the hotel guests.
The robot rides reportedly take the elevator and navigate through hallways on its own to minimize contact between guests and human staff. Doctors in hazmat suits are also going from room to room on a daily basis reminding occupants, including an AFP journalist who had been in Hubei, to take their temperatures with the mercury thermometer provided at check-in, and to are asked if any are experiencing symptoms.
A German journalist, who began her second quarantine in Beijing this year on Sunday after returning from Hubei’s capital Wuhan talked about how her building’s management reportedly installed a camera in front of her door to monitor her movements. “It’s quite scary how you get used to such things,” she told AFP.