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Failed COVID-19 tracing apps must be abandoned to restore public trust

Asia has led the way with surveillance technology, but citizens remain unconvinced

| Australia
Singapore's contact tracing app TraceTogether: the government struggles to get even 25% of citizens to download the app. (Photo by Kentaro Iwamoto)

Melbourne lawyer Lizzie O'Shea is the author of Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us about Digital Technology.

When Singapore took the lead in developing a contact tracing app to help curb the spread of COVID-19, many other nations were quick to follow, using the health crisis to justify increased surveillance. But the moment gave citizens a chance to observe their governments in real-time, and test whether they could be trusted.

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