Is it starting to get scary out there, yet? It turns out that COVID-19 was the least of our concerns. Governments of various nations across the world have sprinted past legal obstacles to spy upon their citizens in order to mitigate the mild symptoms of a Chinese chest cold.
Accordign to the Independent Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), the University of Oxford illegally commandeered cell phone data in order to track the recipients of the COVID-19 vaccines. The tracking efforts were an attempt to find out “how vaccination affects people’s lifestyles.”
Apparently, taking a poll wasn’t good enough. Instead, the vaccine researches hacked their cell phones.
The report, which has also been published in the UK Telegraph, shows that Oxford University – on behalf of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturer – told the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to obtain the cell phone data of vaccinated individuals (without a warrant) to mine it for data. They wanted to see how many people stayed home or limited their travel after receiving the vaccine, which to them is a sign of sickness (and might very well be a sign of sickness, considering more people have symptoms from the vaccine than from COVID-19.
Oxford, with people’s personal cellular data in hand, then checked up on 4,254 vaccinated test subjects without their knowledge, accounting for, “cell phone mobility data for 10 percent of the British population.”
Seeing how busy and active people were after being vaccinated was called by the researchers a “robustness check.”
The organization, Big Brother Watch, said of the privacy infringement, “Between looming Covid passports and vaccine phone surveillance, this Government is turning Britain into a Big Brother state under the cover of Covid.”
The government responded by claiming that cellular users were given a nickname, so their personal identities weren’t revealed to researchers. Nonetheless, even if true, it was a violation of British law. The British government also excused the privacy infringement by claiming “the data was only given to pre-approved researchers.”