China pushes use of QR code to track travel, limit COVID-19 exposure

by Jordyn Pair · Nov 23rd, 2020 2:31 pm
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Last Updated Nov 24th, 2020 at 9:53 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping is pushing for global use of a QR code that tracks travel and aims to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Xi said during a virtual G20 leaders' summit on Saturday that nations need to "harmonize policies" in order to track those who are infected with the coronavrius, according to a transcript of Xi's speech from a state-run news agency Xinhua.

"China has proposed a global mechanism on the mutual recognition of health certificates based on nucleic acid test results in the form of Internationally accepted QR codes," Xi said. "We hope more countries will join this mechanism. We also support the G20 in carrying out institutionalized cooperation and building global cooperation networks to facilitate the flow of personnel and goods."

China introduced the QR codes — which store data on a person's travel and health history — earlier this year.

An analysis from the New York Times found that software used to access the data also reportedly sends a person's location, city name, and identifying code number to the police.

🔦 Other countries use apps to monitor contact tracing, such as Singapore's TraceTogether and Japan's Contact-Confirming Application.


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