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The fight over our post-COVID future should be as much about welfare as it is about tech

Surveillance thrives in unequal environments, and the pandemic will increase inequality. We need a welfare state for our digital information economy, argues Beatriz Botero Arcila.

“Unemployment, work precarity, and economic and pandemic-related stress will thus only make it easier for companies to push for surveillance technologies and practices in the workplace, institutions, and public spaces,” writes Botero Arcila. “People under economic pressure and worrying to make ends meet have fewer options to opt-out and will easily ‘have to consent’ — a contradiction in terms — to surveillance practices; not because they are free to do so, but because they are in need.”

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