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Explainer: EU privacy rules no obstacle to coronavirus fight; smartphone tracking a no-no – Source Reuters Tech News

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe’s privacy rulebook does not create obstacles to taking action to curb the coronavirus epidemic but mass tracking of people’s movements and contacts using smartphone location data would represent a clear violation.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a face mask checks her phone outside the Teatro alla Scala, closed by authorities due to a coronavirus outbreak, in Milan, Italy February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

Technophiles support the use of such data to reconstruct the movements of people exposed to the flu-like virus and identify others at risk of infection. Privacy advocates counter that this approach, used in China, subjects people to the kind of digital surveillance that has no place in a Western democracy.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect in the European Union in mid-2018, states that people’s data is their own and requires anyone seeking to process it to obtain their consent.


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Source Reuters Tech News

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