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KCI등재 학술저널

New Technologies, Human Rights, and COVID-19: Evaluating the South Korean Response

New Technologies, Human Rights, and COVID-19: Evaluating the South Korean Response

The containment and management of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts have been a leading priority for nations since its onset in early 2020. South Korea is widely recognized as having one of the best responses to the pandemic without utilizing strict lockdowns or authoritarian measures to safeguard public health and the economy. To do this, Korea utilized new digital technologies at every stage of the process to ensure that infected individuals were tested, traced, and treated, also known as the Three T Strategy. However, the Korean case also shows how the use of technological forms of governance can aggravate preexisting human rights problems and how it can dynamically create new types of victims through enhanced capabilities that allow for the surveillance, categorization, and control of populations. This paper theorizes the Korean Three T Strategy and its constituent technologies as a datafication cycle and critically explores its human rights impacts. It finds that the use of new technologies to combat COVID-19 avoided some kinds of human rights violations associated with lockdowns in other countries, but also created the potential for human rights violations that were more obscure, complex, and difficult to measure. This finding suggests that while new technologies can help mitigate the trade-offs between economic growth, public health, and human rights, their usage alone does not provide a comprehensive solution.

I. Introduction

II. Literature Review

III. Datafication Cycle

IV. Case Study: COVID-19 and the South Korean Response

V. Human Rights Infringements and the Datafication Cycle

VI. Conclusion

References

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