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Israel: Government approves mobile tracking to monitor Coronavirus quarantine enforcement

OneTrust DataGuidance confirmed, on 16 March 2020, with Dalit Ben-Israel, Partner at Naschitz Brandes Amir, that the Israeli Government had approved Government Decision No. 4897 of 15 March 2020 empowering the General Secret Services by virtue of Section 7(b)(6) of the Security Service Law, 2001, to receive, collect and process technological data in order to assist the Ministry of Health in the performance of epidemiological investigations aimed at checking the locations of confirmed affected individuals and suspected affected individuals and those in contact with them during the incubation period of the COVID-19 ('Coronavirus') ('the Decision'). In particular, Ben-Israel outlined that, "The tracking will not require a court order. The declaration of the authorities is that the data will be provided to the Ministry of Health only and deleted afterwards. The text of the Decision has not been published yet, and therefore the legal basis is unknown (whether the basis is the General Security Service Law or the People's Health Law), but it seems that the measures adopted are in the least a 'stretch' of each of these laws, the purpose of which is far from being able to easily accommodate this issue." 

Furthermore, Ben-Israel highlighted that, "The professionals contesting the Decision claim that viewing a pandemic as a risk to national security (if the basis of the Decision is indeed the Security Service Law) is far-reaching and dangerous and that the powers should be granted to the Ministry of Health and not the security services."

Ben-Israel concluded that, "If a different governmental authority, such as the Privacy Protection Authority ('PPA'), or a quasi-jurisdictional tribunal is provided with oversight powers over the implementation of the Decision, ensuring swift deletion of data, minimal use of the data, non-matching of data with data from other databases, etc. this might enable achieving the purposes with minimal breach of privacy."