Ayelet Shaked: We’re stopping cellphone tracking to enforce corona restrictions

Yemina party MK Ayelet Shaked tweeted the news on Wednesday. The controversial use of cellphone data to keep tabs on citizens had raised violation of privacy fears.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee decided to halt legislation allowing the searching of cellphones to ensure those required to self-isolate continued to do so.

Yemina party MK Ayelet Shaked tweeted the news on Wednesday.

“We have decided on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to freeze the legislation enabling cellular pinpointing to enforce self-isolation,” she tweeted.

“The police also carry out thousands of home visits to those obligated to be in isolation, so the benefit is less than the great violation of privacy. Israeli citizens, for the most part, fulfill the obligation of isolation and this is good,” she added.

Looking forward to a post-corona future, Shaked said “The task now is to release the stranglehold on the economy, and to open businesses: hairdressers, cosmetics and other stores.”

On March 15, Israel’s government approved a plan to use cellphone data to track people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The move raised concerns at the time. Civil rights groups and legal experts said the blanket permission to access such phone data, along with the absence of any court oversight, appeared to outweigh its benefits.

The ability to pinpoint those who have been in contact with possibly ill people “does not justify the severe infringement of the right to privacy,” the Association of Civil Right in Israel said at the time.

“The danger of COVID-19 is not only the virus itself, but the fear that as part of the efforts to overcome the danger, we will also lose our basic values as a free and democratic society.”