Israel suspends cellphone-tracking for coronavirus quarantine enforcement

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An Israeli parliamentary oversight committee on Wednesday suspended police use of cellphone data to enforce coronavirus quarantines, with one lawmaker citing privacy concerns.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government last month empowered the police to requisition cellphone roaming data on those ordered to self-isolate as suspected or confirmed coronavirus carriers, to confirm that they were not straying.

The measure, and a parallel decision to use counter-terrorist technology developed by the Shin Bet security agency to map out carriers’ movements and infection patterns, prompted Supreme Court challenges by civil liberties groups.

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