Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
The Biden administration’s vaccine passport scheme is just the teeny-tiny tip of a massive privacy invasion iceberg. A year ago this week, I began chronicling the worldwide weaponization of COVID-19 by big government and big business to trace and track the health data of untold hundreds of millions of human beings. Let’s review.
In March 2020, Singapore unleashed a Bluetooth app called “TraceTogether” on Google Play and the Apple Store to track people who tested positive for coronavirus and notify others through their cellphones. For those who argue that participation is completely “voluntary,” bear in mind that Singapore functions as a high-tech dictatorship where refusal to comply with stay-at-home orders and refusal to share GPS location data with health bureaucrats are criminal offenses subject to six months’ imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.
The Singapore system was quickly expanded to require users to submit their national ID numbers and passport numbers; a few months later, the government issued wearable tracing “tokens” with QR codes to all 5.7 million residents in Singapore. Plans are in the works to formally mandate TraceTogether enrollment for anyone in cinemas, restaurants, workplaces, schools and shopping malls.
Dozens of states, plus countries including Germany, the U.K., and a large swath of Canada, now use COVID-19 exposure notification apps akin to Singapore’s that are built on Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification application programming interface.
On March 9, 2020, the Trump administration’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services unveiled new data rules requiring doctors and hospitals to “send a core set of medical data directly to third-party apps after a patient has authorized the information exchange.” Google, Apple and Microsoft — all at the forefront of health data mining — sat in on the rule-making process meetings.
The tech oligarchs are in the driver’s seat, not the back of the bus.
As I’ve reported in investigative documentaries and this column for years, Google/YouTube is already knee-deep in mental-health data mining of adults and children despite repeated privacy violations. They’ve mined students’ emails in violation of the federal Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act. They’ve violated the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Google secretly harvested tens of millions of medical records with identifying names, lab results, diagnoses, immunization records and prescriptions from thousands of hospitals across 21 states through “Project Nightingale” — a partnership with Ascension health system to build a search tool and data analytics using machine-learning algorithms.
A year ago this month, Google launched “Verily,” a COVID-19 screening and testing website. California Gov. Gavin Newsom forked over $55 million to subsidize Verily contracts with 28 counties. The contracts allow Google/Verily to mine and share home addresses and medical information with “unnamed contractors and state and federal health authorities,” according to Kaiser Health News.
In April 2020, COVID control freak Anthony Fauci mentioned that the feds had begun investigating “certificates of immunity” for American citizens. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a snitch line urging people to upload photos of businesses not in compliance with social distancing rules. Georgia officials dispatched law enforcement officers to random private homes in Fulton and Dekalb counties to ask residents questions about their health and to collect blood samples for an antibody test.
Police agencies in Florida, Connecticut and New Jersey deployed drones to enforce social distancing and experiment with fever and facial mask detection. In May 2020, China rolled out temperature armbands to college students. In August 2020, the Butler, New Jersey, public schools mandated temperature armbands manufactured by Accwell for students and staff to be worn at all times as a condition of access to public education.
Volan Technology successfully marketed and distributed tracking Bluetooth-enabled “badges” and “beacons” to school districts that can track campus movements of COVID-positive wearers for up to 30 days and identify others with whom they’ve had close contact. Princeton Identity rolled out new touchless biometric and iris scanning products to be installed on college campuses. Online proctoring services that proliferated in the age of COVID, including Proctorio, Factorial and Respondus Monitor, collect college students’ facial recognition data — which can be sold to third parties.
This week, the Washington Free Beacon obtained a Biden COVID team document outlining a trace-and-track program developed by the University of Illinois using Bluetooth technology that mimics the Singapore model I flagged a year ago.
This week, snoozing Americans finally woke up to the Biden vaccine passport plan and the New York vaccine verification program known as the “Excelsior Pass.” But these credentialing systems have been in the works for years among U.S. and global health agencies, long before “corona” meant nothing more than a beer or bright light to most people. The Vaccination Credential Initiative is a joint endeavor of the feds, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, the Mayo Clinic, electronic medical records giant Epic, Big Pharma CEOs and globalist nonprofit entities all coordinated by the military-industrial powerhouse MITRE corporation.
These public-private partnerships between tech companies and Surveillance States obliterate any meaningful distinction between “free market” initiatives and government directives. Big tech, big health and big government all work seamlessly to ensure the success of the global trace-and-track regime. There is no freedom to choose in a climate of collusion and a culture of conformity. The conspiracy is real.
Michelle Malkin’s email address is [email protected]
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