It took about ten minutes longer than I thought it would.
But the Irish Council for Civil Liberties was pretty quick off the mark raising concerns about the Covid Tracking App launched by the Department of Health.
They have previously, of course, expressed serious concerns about the Public Services Card (PSC) as has the Data Commissioner.
Imagine the government knowing stuff about us. The horror.
I’m chronically ill and thank God the government knows my age, my marital status, the fact that I’m a parent, what illnesses I have – the bulk of my drug costs are paid as are the costs of my regular hospital stays. They know where I live, what I drive, how much I earn.
Sorry. That was before the PSC.
But of course, nobody objects when what the government knows is of benefit to us.
Personally, I’d love PSCs to state clearly the occupations and pastimes of holders such as “Kinahan gang member” “Drug dealer” “Thug” “Hit man” “Provo” “Paedophile” “scumbag” and “burglar.”
What the hell is the government going to know that people don’t want them to know unless they’re in one of the categories above?
The ICCL and the Data Commissioner stoke paranoia about these things.
They seem to want to convince us the “authorities” are spying on us.
I am quite sure that Leo and now Micheál and previously Enda didn’t spend hours on their computers in Merrion Street looking up details of friends and enemies.
And indeed, I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a garda unit doing that either – except of course in relation to those “occupations” I mentioned above. And I hope there really is a large unit checking out the scumbags who make life hard for us all.
And here’s a thing.
Where were all these concerned citizens when every house in Ireland had delivered to it, a large book which contained tens of thousands of names, addresses and telephone numbers? What of the Thoms Directory which listed every house on every street accompanied by the name of the occupier?
Is the voting register not a breach of privacy? Television licences? I mean, why should the state know who has a tv and who doesn’t?
If the Covid App saves one life it will have been worth it. I think it may save a lot more, but one would justify it.
If the objections raised against it cost one life, well, we’ll know where to point the finger won’t we?
Because the objectors absolutely love publicity.
Though sometimes I wish they’d listen to themselves and keep things private.
(The ICCL, by the way, is on Facebook. Yeh. I know.)