International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
Social Surveillance In The Covid Pandemic: A Case Study Of Shanghai After An Extent Lockdown


China is the first country to employ digital tracking systems (Jiankang Ma) on social media apps like WeChat and Alipay as monitoring devices to monitor people's travels to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The system collects citizens' individual information, including personal data (gender, I.D. number, etc.), personal health information (body temperature, contact with people from high-risk areas, etc.), travel history in the past 14 days, and health certification information (COVID-19 test by authorized organizations) to help effectively control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Although the health code policy showed effective outcomes after its implementation, there are significant worries regarding the system's potential for abuse or exploitation at the expense of individual rights due to the seeming unrestricted collection of personal data. Citizens began to question whether the Health Code is a technology for regulating the virus or a tool to surveil individuals' privacy, revealing the problem of information regulation policies of the Chinese government. This essay, therefore, will provide a deep insight into the operation mode of the Chinese Health code and seek the balance between the effectiveness of pandemic control and the infringement of citizens' privacy due to the unrestricted collection of personal information.