Israel has rolled out what it is calling a ‘Freedom bracelet’, a tracking device that will serve as an alternative to a two-week quarantine for anyone entering the country from abroad.
The Israeli government’s proposal to introduce electronic bracelets to ensure people self-isolate on returning from abroad has prompted debates and mixed reaction from citizens.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have already passed a law granting authorities access to the personal data of unvaccinated people.
“When I entered they asked me if I wanted to go home or to a hotel so I said I want to go home. They said if you want to go home you have to use the surveillance bracelet,” said Soliman, a traveller arriving at the airport.
“It is a very good decision, we can be at home and it is a great thing,” said Hadas, another arriving passenger.
The device does not show a location on a map, but it will alert authorities if participants venture too far from the wall-mounted tracker.
The device, which looks like a smart watch is being produced by a company called SuperCom, which has previously worked with governments of several countries on systems to track and monitor prisoners.
Ordan Trabelsi, the CEO of SuperCom, said “We call it a ‘freedom bracelet’ because we are not locking anybody up, but rather giving them the opportunity to go home.”
…And be tracked by the government if they try to leave their house.
“Nobody is forced to do it, but for those who are interested, it gives them another option: more flexibility,” Trabelsi added.
So, the choices are be locked up for two weeks in a military-administered quarantine hotel, or take the tracking bracelet.
It doesn’t really sound like ‘freedom’.
The development comes at the same time as a court ruling demanding that the country’s domestic spy agency the Shin Bet must back off COVID-19 contact-tracing surveillance.
The court ruled that the efforts are “draconian” and a threat to democracy in the country, and can only be used in emergencies.
Israel is also operating a two tier society where those who have been vaccinated have a ‘green pass’ to go where they want, and those who haven’t must stay under lockdown.
Source: Steve Watson – SUMMIT NEWS
Header: Electronic bracelets for returnees to Israel – “Freedom bracelet” – “Pure Care”. Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images