The majority of Russians are happy to give up their personal data to combat Coronavirus, with over three-quarters supporting the use of facial recognition tech to identify who came in contact with those infected by the disease.
According to a joint study by the Russian Venture Company and the Institute of National Projects, 54 percent of Russians think it is acceptable for the government to collect personal data for issuing passes for freedom to move around. Furthermore, 66 percent of respondents consider it acceptable for the state to collect information about who people have spent time with, in order to identify those potentially infected with the coronavirus.
Despite a willingness to share data with the government, only 30 percent believe that state-collected data is protected, a number which is even lower among those with higher education (28 percent).
Although the country has had issues with its facial recognition technology, its implementation in Moscow has remained popular, and will soon be expanded to other areas. Last month, Russian company NTechLab announced that it would install 3,000 cameras in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia’s sixth biggest city, with nine more locations coming soon.
Moscow’s CCTV system made international headlines in the summer when it was used to catch people violating the strict Covid-19 quarantine. In August, research by the previously Western-funded Levada Center (registered as a ‘foreign agent’) discovered that just 42 percent of Muscovites opposed the installation of facial recognition cameras, with 47 percent supporting it.
In the last 24 hours, Russia has officially recorded 15,982 cases of Covid-19, the highest daily increase throughout the entire pandemic. The latest figures bring the overall number of infections to 1,415,316, making the country the fourth most affected globally, behind the US, Brazil, and India.