By Red Herring

Governments around the world are increasingly using mobile location data to help fight the spread of coronavirus. 

South Korea has used cell phone tracking data to create a publicly accessible map, where people can see if they have likely come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. The country has been widely praised for its handling of the crisis, and has seen a significant downturn in the number of cases since the number peaked at 909 cases reported on February 29. 

Other countries in Asia have deployed similar tactics, some of which are even more aggressive. In Taiwan, for example. An “electronic fence” has been established, which alerts the authorities if someone who has been quarantined has strayed too far away from their home. China has also used a tracking system to keep an all-seeing eye on those in quarantine. 

Iran has launched a controversial app called AC 19. Iranians were told to download the app to determine if they had been infected with the virus, but in reality AC 19 was taking the personal data of millions of citizens. 

Israel authorized the use of cellphone location data to track the virus on March 16, a practice which isn’t unfamiliar in the country – its security agency has collected data from mobile carriers since 2002. In this case the data is being used to track patients who have tested positive for the virus to see who else they have been in contact with and who should be in quarantine. 

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, provides some of the strongest legislation against mass data gathering, but even there countries are using cellphone data to fight coronavirus. In the EU, however, this data is anonymous and aggregated, ensuring it complies with GDPR. In the Lombardy region of Italy, one of the worst hit by the virus, mobile data has been used by authorities to determine how well people are sticking to the quarantine rules.

Mobile carriers in Germany and Austria have also shared data with authorities, according to reports from Reuters. 

Tracking citizens through mobile data has always been seen as one of the more sinister side effects of technological change, but in the context of the current crisis the world appears comfortable with some tracking to help save lives. When the world eventually returns to normal, data privacy advocates will be watching closely to make sure these temporary measures are not more permanent. 

Affiliate News Feeds

  • Hardware
  • Internet of Things
  • Networking
  • Industry News
  • Software

The tech titan Amazon used its show in Las Vegas to talk about watery matters, supply chains and much more. The post AWS re:Invent 2022: A tiered tour of technology… [...]

In a recent interview with Ravi Pendekanti, SVP of Product Management & Marketing at Western Digital, he explained how they have expanded their HDD technology to lower total cost of… [...]

Our picks for the top Amazon Cyber Week deals to ease the stress of those who work from home. The post 5 Amazon Cyber Week deals sure to make remote… [...]

IIoT can be a revelation when implemented successfully, but companies may run into obstacles. Here’s what IIoT is and the top five obstacles associated with using it. The post Top… [...]

Learn how Internet of Things technology has continued to support digital transformation for organizations across industries. The post Top 5 trends to watch in industrial IoT appeared first on TechRepublic. [...]

UK-based IoT connectivity platform provider seeks élan and style by snapping up French firm. The post Wireless Logic continues acquisition spree with IoThink Solutions deal appeared first on TechRepublic. [...]

Consider securing your remote work setup with a three-year subscription to a top VPN. Windscribe Pro is more than 70% off today only. The post Lock in 3 years of… [...]

Virtualization platforms are available from a number of vendors, but it’s still critical to maintain your virtualization environment to avoid unnecessary resource consumption, out of-compliance systems or applications, data loss,… [...]

The company’s products seek to address real-time data transport, edge data collection instruments. The post NVIDIA unveils supercomputing and edge products at SC22 appeared first on TechRepublic. [...]

An account takeover (ATO), in which criminals impersonate legitimate account owners to take control of an account, are on the rise in Asia and across the world. Fraudsters are swindling… [...]

Experts warn that API attacks will soon become the most common type of web application attack. As a result, organizations and their security vendors need to align across people, processes,… [...]

Research shows that web applications and API attacks continued to explode in the first half of 2022. Does your organization have the best defense today? Akamai recommends deploying a holistic… [...]

See how to integrate the Trello software with Google Mail for a much simpler project management workflow. The post How to integrate Trello with Gmail appeared first on TechRepublic. [...]

Read how to install the Trello app in macOS and why it will make your project management even easier. The post How to install the Trello app on macOS and… [...]

Find out if one of these top seven Wrike alternatives are an ideal project management solution for you and your team. The post Top 7 Wrike alternatives for project and… [...]