Yuval Noah Harari on surveillance amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘This is a kind of watershed event when surveillance is really spreading everywhere.’

In this new episode, #AJOPINION hears from historian Yuval Noah Harari about global surveillance measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“A lot of people, including politicians, are saying things like: ‘This is a war and in a war, of course, we need to involve the security services.’ But this is a complete mistake,” he says.

“This is not a war. This is a healthcare crisis. It has a very different nature. It’s not about soldiers with guns running around. It’s about nurses in hospitals changing dirty bedsheets.”

He says he is not against surveillance itself but believes that we need to make use of whatever technology is available to fight the epidemic and to ease the economic crisis.

Surveillance can help us do that, but it should be done carefully, he says.

Harari argues for the establishment of an independent healthcare authority or agency which is tasked with stopping the pandemic and does not share the data it collects with anybody else.

The views expressed in this video are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

This episode of #AJOPINION was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Seena Khalil.