Privacy Advocates Weary of Surveillance Devices Used to Detect COVID-19

As more states begin to reopen their economies, business owners are scrambling to install cutting edge devices to help protect their employees. But privacy advocates warn digital trackers and other security systems could violate our constitutional rights.

Thermal Imaging Cameras are the latest devices airports, healthcare centers, and apartment buildings hope will prevent the spread of COVID-19. The cameras scan body temperature from a distance, and if a fever is detected, the company could deny the person from entering their facility. However, some warn it could open the door for inappropriate and unwelcomed surveillance.

“If this goes to some type of database that has been shared with the government and then shared with insurance companies, you start to get concerned about this information leaking out and what others might do with this information,” Houston Internet Attorney Travis Crabtree said.

The scans aren't regulated by federal law, leaving businesses to decide their own rules. The Food and Drug Administration says it does not plan to object to the devices widespread use.

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