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The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority Objects to Compelled Use of Contact-Tracing Technology

Publications / Nov 30, 2020

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Article written by Haim Ravia, Dotan Hammer and Adi Shoval

The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority (the “Authority”) has opined on a ministerial proposal to impose a mandatory duty on Israeli individuals to use contact-tracing technology as a prerequisite to entering public places, amid the continued fight against the pandemic.

The Authority expressed its strong objection to imposing an obligation on individuals, alerting to a disproportionate violation of the right to privacy and contravention of the current statute which provides that use of contact-tracing technology shall be subject to the individual’s informed and voluntary consent.

The Authority is also doubtful of a correlation between the use of obligatory technological means and a reduction in the spread of the pandemic. According to the Authority, no other democracy has mandated this course of action and its adoption would increase public concerns of unnecessary surveillance, which in turn would motivate the public to try to avert the surveillance.

The Authority recommends using positive incentives to encourage the public to cooperate with the government’s plan, such as paid quarantine days and shortening the obligatory period of quarantine following exposure to a COVID-19-diagnosed person.

CLICK HERE to read the Israeli Privacy Protection Authority’s opinion (in Hebrew).