Big data is an extremely large data set that can be used to control the behavior and interactions of the public, which is the role it is playing in the Coronavirus epidemic. As you may think this will be a productive way to protect the public from the virus, some reports show people being marked incorrectly because of the government’s incorrect algorithm. “The Chinese government is using the massive amount of data it has collected to categorize people according to their likelihood of infection by the new coronavirus. But some people say they have been incorrectly tagged and forced into quarantine.” (Inktone News, 2020).
A rating system known as a Health Code was created and can be accessed through a payment app. “The color code is the result of an automated analysis that uses what Chinese officials have called “big data” to identify potential carriers of the coronavirus as the country gets back to work.” (Inkstone News, 2020). The Health Code system created QR codes with the colors green, yellow and red. If a person’s QR code is scanned and turns red, that means they are not permitted to enter public places.
Authorities have mentioned that some of the ratings in the Health Code are not accurate. There are people in China and other countries that the virus has moved to who had a clear travel history and no Coronavirus symptoms, but the system still gave the individuals a red QR code. Since the data is not 100% correct, should it be implemented to see who is and can be affected by the virus? Is there another way big data can be used correctly to secure the safety of the public?
In this case, I do not think big data is the solution to this epidemic. If big data can not be fully relied on to make any progress to save the public, it should not be used at all in this circumstance. Big data is and can be used for so many large-scale topics, but I believe this is not one of them.
“Google can track my every move and tell me where I ate lunch last week, but viruses don’t carry phones. The facts about this disease are hidden in the activity of billions of nanometer-scale particles, spreading through the cells of tens of thousands of humans and the environments we traverse. Big data can barely scratch the surface of solving that problem.” (David Fickling, Washington Post, 2020).