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Governments are looking into surveillance, geolocation and biometric facial recognition technology that might violate user data privacy, out of desperation to contain coronavirus, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The publication reports speaking to people close to the matter who claim all measures will be taken to identify people in contact with anyone who tested positive, including tracking phone location and using facial recognition to analyze photos.

In China, AI is being used to fight the virus on all fronts. With its ability to learn quickly, AI saves humans time in sequencing the genome of Sars-CoV-2, designing lab tests, analysing CAT scans and making new vaccines

Unit 81 is one of Israel’s most secretive military intelligence units. Charged with developing technologies to support combat operations, the unit is even more hidden away than the better-known Unit 8200 within the same AMAN intel corps. And so the fact Unit 81 has now broken cover to publicize its work in combatting COVID-19 is just the latest example of the unprecedented nature of the virus and the fightback.

The U.S. government is in active talks with Facebook, Google and a wide array of tech companies and health experts about how they can use location data gleaned from Americans’ phones to combat the novel coronavirus, including tracking whether people are keeping one another at safe distances to stem the outbreak.

The coronavirus pandemic has, among other things, exposed the vulnerabilities of political systems worldwide: While democracies are being tested as citizens bristle at perceived threats to their civil liberties, the harsh measures enacted by authoritarian regimes might have saved thousands if not millions of lives. The historic shock the coronavirus has dealt to economies and markets might be matched only by its rattling effects on global politics.

The Canadian military is preparing to respond to multiple waves of the COVID-19 pandemic which could stretch out over a year or more, the country's top military commander said in his latest planning directive. Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, warned in a memo issued Thursday that requests for assistance can be expected "from all echelons of government and the private sector and they will likely come to the Department [of National Defence] through multiple points of entry."