Israeli Intelligence Tracking Coronavirus Patients with Smartphone Location Data

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet has used cellphone location data to identify 1,500 new Chinese virus patients, according to reports in Israeli media.

YNet reports that over the past two weeks, the Israeli health ministry has been passing the identities of coronavirus patients to Shin Bet, which then used cellphone proximity data to determine who the virus carriers had interacted with and alert them to enter quarantine.

Via YNet:

Prof. Siegal Sadetzki, the head of public health at the Health Ministry, told Knesset members on Monday that without the technical assistance given by the Shin Bet, more than 60% of those who needed to enter quarantine would not have been located.
The new data was included in a report provided by the security agency, which was instructed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to update the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense committee and newly formed special coronavirus committee every three days.
For two weeks, the Shin Bet has been working constantly and covertly to provide the Health Ministry with a clear image of all those who had come into contact with confirmed virus patients.
The Israeli Justice Ministry, which oversees the Shin Bet, said they would make an effort to ensure the powers granted to the intelligence agency are “temporary” and “limited in scope.”
Elsewhere in the world, Google has been publishing the anonymized location data of its users to track compliance with social distancing orders. As Breitbart News reported last week, Google has produced reports on compliance with social distancing orders in 131 countries. This came after a request from the U.S. government in March for tech giants to use smartphone data to track the spread of the Chinese coronavirus and compliance with social distancing.

Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.


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