Bill Gates promotes the Sustainable Development Goals in Tokyo. © Reuters / Toru Hanai / © Reuters / Kim Hong-Ji
Is that Big Brother behind the medical mask? Bill Gates to co-fund South Korean research of next-gen quarantine methods
18 May, 2020 09:48
The collaboration was first envisioned in 2018 and seriously negotiated since April last year, according to Korean media. The Gates’ foundation reportedly showed particular interest in the research because South Korea has high penetration of 5G smartphones and the infrastructure already in place to enable collection of large amounts of data through them.
“The use of mobile technology and sensors, paired with smart data analysis, can help address some of the challenges countries face in timely and effective response to disease outbreaks,” said Andrew Trister, deputy director of the global health program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill and Melinda Gates are known as vocal advocates of spending more resources on preparing for outbreaks. Both praised South Korea for its response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
That view admittedly is not widespread, though the hardships of Covid-19 lockdowns seem to fuel all sorts of connect-the-dots sort of thinking. 5G technology has won a place among coronavirus conspiracy theories that have even led to several reported vandalism attacks on mobile towers in the UK.Some however can’t help but see sinister undertones beyond the philanthropy. Just last week an Italian MP delivered a fierce rant in parliament, calling for the arrest of Bill Gates. Sara Cunial accused the billionaire of masterminding “dictatorial control plans on global politics” and using the current situation to further them.
The investment made be the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation into the South Korean surveillance-for-public-health program may raise legitimate concerns about the privacy and safety of personal medical data.