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Government okays tracking sick Israelis phones

Israel’s government has approved a measure that will allow the Shin Bet security service to track the movements of carriers of the coronavirus using their cellphone data and other technologies, one of the ministers involved in the process says.

This proposal, which will give the Shin Bet the legal power to monitor the entire population, has raised significant concerns about its implications on personal privacy.

“We in the government approved — following seven hours of consultations and deep professional discussions, and with many exceptions and structurally built-in protections — the mechanism to electronically block the spread of corona,” Transportation Minister Betzalel Smotrich says in a tweet.

“I can assure you all unequivocally: there isn’t and won’t be a ‘Big Brother’ in the State of Israel, even in the framework of an extreme event like what we are dealing with now,” he says, referring to George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”