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No Tracking Please! We’re Corona-Infected Europeans

BRUSSELS: EU technology experts are at loggerheads over whether the tracking of people with the coronavirus is legal.

Some analysts say Europe’s privacy rulebook does not create obstacles to taking action to curb the coronavirus epidemic. But mass tracking of people’s movements and contacts using smartphone location data would be a clear violation.

EU supporters of the use of such data say it would help reconstruct the movements of people exposed to the flu-like virus and identify others at risk of infection. But privacy watchers say that kind of digital surveillance has no place in a Western democracy.

European legal firms say companies can obtain information on whether an employee has travelled to a region with confirmed coronavirus cases – but actually tracking them is against the EU’s strict privacy rules.

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