Divergence of Security and Right to Privacy in Light of Measures Taken during COVID-19 Pandemic
Purpose: The paper aims to assess methods and information technologies used to control and surveil citizens in light of measures taken to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus outbreak. That assessment pays particular attention to the right to privacy, which seems not to be observed by both private market entities and state authorities. The paper attempts to determine the importance of privacy concerning civil liberties and in the context of build-ing a democratic society. Design/Methodology/approach: The paper is based primarily on research conducted using the desk research method. The subject of analysis is data available, inter alia, in scientific papers and special reports regarding opportunities and practices used to obtain infor-mation about Internet users and mobile communication device holders concerning combat-ing the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. Materials covering the pandemic period will be juxtaposed with documents showing the relevant periods before the outbreak began. Findings: Analysis results are presented in the context of a broader discussion regarding the relation between security and civil liberties. Practical implications: The issue of correlation between security and freedom (including the extent of intrusion into privacy) allows us to determine boundaries for developing vari-ous technologies connected with ensuring security under ethical principles and in the spirit of international human rights. Originality/Value: Among publications devoted to the difficult relation between security and civil liberties, only a small number pertains to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Be-sides, the epidemic period has revealed to an even greater extent, the tendency to impose greater control over society through various information technology tools and new tech-nologies.