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Abstract

The covid-19 pandemic required swift responses from governments at all levels. Government agencies were faced with the immense task of mitigating the health, social, and economic effects of covid-19. These actions and responses included developing mobile phone location tracking systems and ‘electronic fences’ alongside the use of big data analytics. Whether intentionally or not, this led to questions about the rise of the ‘biosurveillance state’. In this paper, we examine the extent to which digital democracy has emerged as a contested concept in Taiwan. Furthermore, we ask: to what extent is the use of digital surveillance for disease control and prevention justifiable, and to what extent can personal privacy be sacrificed when adopting digital surveillance measures with the aim of securing collective safety? We compare Taiwanese citizens’ concerns about personal privacy with those in other democracies, such as the UK, and those in the EU and North America.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies