Govt can as of Thursday use phone data to trace users to slow spread of Covid-19
South Africa is following the lead of countries such as China and Israel in using mobile phone technology to slow the rate of Covid-19 infections.
In China, the government and tech giants Tencent and Alibaba are tracking millions of people using a mandatory smartphone application.
In Israel, the government passed an emergency law, enabling it to use cellphone data to track people with Covid-19 and to find and quarantine others.
Normally in South Africa, it would be illegal to track people in this manner.
However, as of Thursday, the government can – without having to notify them - trace the movements of any South African cellphone user as far back as the 5th of March in order to fight Covid-19.
Clement Manyathela interviewed Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Director at Werksmans Attorneys.
What is the extent of the security of this database that will prevent it from being penetrated by cybercriminals? … They’ll connect your name, your address, your ID number, your telephone number…Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Director - Werksmans Attorneys
It [the data] will be de-identified [after Covid-19] … up until it is de-identified; is the information secure?Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Director - Werksmans Attorneys
We’re not unique in South Africa… we’ve seen other jurisdictions going far further…Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Director - Werksmans Attorneys
For more detail, listen to the interview in the audio below.
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