COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker

Keep Civic Space Healthy

This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws. For information about our methodology, click here.

For more information and analysis by region, click here.

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The COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker is a collaborative effort by the ICNL, ECNL, and our global network of partners, with generous research support from the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin. This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at epage@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.


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Argentina

"Cyber Patrols" of Social Media by the Ministry of Security

The Security Minister, Sabina Frederic, stated in a video conference that security forces are carrying out "cyber patrols" on social networks. In an effort to monitor "social humor" and curb misinformation about the coronavirus, the cyber patrols have resulted in at least 12 criminal cases against individuals accused of "public intimidation," a crime punishable by up to six years in prison.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 8 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Surveillance, Expression, Privacy

Type: practice

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Armenia

Amendments to Law on the Legal Regime of the State of Emergency, and the Law on Electronics Communication

The amendments give authorities broad powers to use cellphone data for tracking coronavirus cases. Under the amended laws, telecommunications companies are required to provide the government with customers' phone records, including the location, time, and date of their calls and text messages. The authorities would use that data to identify, isolate, and surveil anyone infected with COVID-19 or those who had been in close contact with infected people.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 31 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Australia

Emergency Management Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Act

The act amends Western Australia's Emergency Management Act of 2005, allowing the government to install surveillance devices in homes and direct people to wear monitoring devices, in order to ensure that those required to isolate during the coronavirus crisis do not interact with the community. Persons who fail to comply are subject to a $12,000 fine or up to a year of imprisonment.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 3 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Azerbaijan

Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 124 of 2020

The decision introduces an SMS notification system to control individuals' movement. In order to leave their place of residence, persons must send an SMS with their identity information and reason for leaving. A person may leave only after receiving a positive response from the e-Government information system. The response will also indicate the amount of time a person is permitted to be outside of their residence.


Introduced 2 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Bahrain

COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Raises Privacy Concerns

Bahrain's BeAware app captures users' movements in real time and uploads those movements to a centralized government database. The app requires that users register with their national ID. It pairs with a Bluetooth bracelet that is mandatory for all individuals under quarantine and that will notify a monitoring station when those individuals are 15 metres away from their phone. Location data and additional diagnostic information from the Bluetooth bracelet are frequently sent to a central server. Additionally, the Ministry of Health may randomly request pictures from self-isolating individuals, who must send back a photo proving they are wearing the bracelet. Violators will face legal penalties as per the 2018 Public Health Law No. 34, potentially being sentenced to imprisonment for a period not less than 3 months and/or a fine between BD1,000 and BD10,000 ($2,600-$26,000).

نظام المراقبة الإلكتروني

باستخدام تطبيق "BeAware" (مجتمع واعي) لمتابعة الحالات المشتبه بها، فإن الأفراد الخاضعين للحجر الذاتي ملزمين بوضع سوار إلكتروني يقوم بإخطار محطة مراقبة عندما يبتعدون عن هواتفهم لمسافة 15 متر. قد يقوم المسؤولين في وزارة الصحة بطلب إرسال صور بشكل عشوائي، بحيث يتعين على الأفراد الخاضعين للحجر الذاتي الاستجابة من خلال التقاط صورة واضحة للوجه والسوار. ويترتب على المخالفين عقوبات قانونية وفقاً لقانون الصحة العامة رقم 34 لسنة 2018، مع احتمال أن يُحكم عليهم بالسجن لمدة لا تقل عن 3 أشهر و / أو غرامة تتراوح بين 1,000 و 10,000 دينار بحريني (2,60026,000 دولار أمريكي).

 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 4 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Belize

Belize Travel Health App

All persons arriving in Belize, regardless of nationality, must download and register with the Belize Travel Health App upon arrival. The app requires personal identifying information, travel plans including place of residence in Belize, as well as exposure to or prior diagnoses of COVID-19. The app shares real-time geolocation data and personal information with a third party, which may in turn share the information with government entities in Belize including the Ministry of Health, Statistical Institute of Belize, and Belize Department of Immigration and Nationality. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Oct 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Brazil

Employing Geolocation to Enforce COVID-19 Restrictions

The Brazilian city of Recife has partnered with a geolocation company to create a platform that tracks the locations of 800,000 people, based on their smartphones. City authorities use the information to track and identify individuals who violate quarantine and lockdown measures.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 28 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Bulgaria

Law on Measures and Actions in the State of Emergency

The law among other things prohibits non-essential travel within and outside the country, in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. The law also provides that if individuals violate their quarantine, their mobile phone data may be subject to surveillance. As originally proposed, the law included criminal sanctions for spreading false information about contagious diseases, however this provision was removed before the law's adoption.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 23 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: law

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Cambodia

Law on National Management in the State of Emergency

The law provides the government with broad new powers during a state of emergency. These include: banning meetings and gatherings; restricting people from leaving their homes; mobilizing military forces; surveilling telecommunications "by any means"; banning or restricting news media that may harm "national security" or create confusion about the state of emergency; and other measures that are "suitable and necessary" to respond to the emergency. "Obstructing" the state's response to the emergency, or noncompliance with the response in a way that creates "public chaos," is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to 5 million riels ($1,200). Organizations found culpable of these offenses may be fined up to 1 billion riels ($247,000).

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 10 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Association, Assembly, Emergency, Surveillance, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information, Movement, Militarization

Type: law

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Chad

Decree No. 379/PR/2020

The decree announces a state of emergency in select provinces of Chad. The decree empowers local civil and military authorities to prohibit the movement of people and vehicles; to establish protection zones where people are "regulated"; to temporarily close performance halls, bars and meeting areas; to ban meetings "likely to provoke disturbances of public order"; to order nightly home searches; to collect all weapons; to take all measures to ensure control of the press and publications of all types of radio and television broadcasts; and to make arrests. Per the order, this expansion of local authorities' powers ends with the end of the state of emergency.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information, Movement, Militarization

Type: order

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China

Mandatory Phone App Shares Data with Police

Citizens in hundreds of Chinese cities are required to install software on their smartphones that determines whether they should be quarantined or allowed into public places, based on their personal information and details of recent travel. The software tracks users' location and appears to shares data with the police. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Ecuador

No. 1017 Declaring a State of Exception

The decree declares a "state of exception" to respond to the covid-19 pandemic. The decree suspends certain individual rights under the constitution, including the right to association and assembly. The decree also provides for governmental authority to use digital tools to surveil individuals under mandatory isolation or quarantine.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Association, Assembly, Emergency, Surveillance, Privacy

Type: order

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Ethiopia

Regulation No. 3 of 2020 on the Implementation of the State of Emergency Declaration

The Attorney General issued regulations to further define and implement the state of emergency. The regulations prohibit gatherings of more than four people. Under the regulations, spreading information that can cause public confusion or alarm is prohibited. The regulations also require all media professionals to report Covid-related news in a way that is neither exaggerated nor understated, and is not likely to create confusion or alarm. The regulations create a legal duty to report anyone suspected of contracting the virus to the police or Ministry of Health. Violations of these provisions are subject to penalty of up to three years in prison a fine of up to 200,000 Ethiopian Birr ($6,000).

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 8 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information

Type: regulation

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Grenada

Emergency Powers (COVID 19) Regulations No. 3

The regulations impose a two-week curfew, confining all persons to their homes except for essential purposes during limited hours. All individuals in isolation must download a mobile surveillance application. Persons shall report their own or any observed flu-like symptoms affecting others to local police. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 6 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Emergency, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: regulation

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Guatemala

Alerta Guate

On March 25, the Guatemalan government released a video of the President promoting the application and encouraging citizens to download it. The "Guatemalan Alert" application disseminates official government announcements about the pandemic. The application collects users' email addresses, social media account names, age, personal interests, and geographic location. The application also requests permission to record audio and calls, and to access files on the user's device. These data are made available to a private company based in the US, and there is little transparency regarding the extent to which data can be shared with third parties. The data can be kept up to ten years. Civil society organizations have also expressed concerns about the implementing company's international funders.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 25 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy, Access to Information

Type: practice

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Hong Kong

Electronic Wristbands for Monitoring Quarantined Individuals

The government is using electronic wristbands to enforce quarantines. The wristbands are connected to a smartphone app and are used to ensure that individuals remain at home. Violations are subject to a $5,000 HKD fine ($644) and six months in prison. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Hungary

Termination of GDPR Rights and Extension of Deadlines for FOI Requests

The government restricted data protection rights as stipulated by the GDPR and the Act on Freedom of Information. The new rules allow the government to use the personal data of citizens without clear regulations about when they can use it, and for what purpose. The government also extended the deadline for public institutions to provide requested data through FOI regulations from 15 to 45 days. The deadline can be prolonged for an additional 45 days, meaning one could have to wait up to 90 days for a response. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 5 May 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy, Access to Information

Type: order

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India

Mobile Phone Tracking and Mandatory Selfies to Confirm Home Quarantine

The Karnataka state government directs all persons in quarantine to send a “selfie” of themselves every hour from their home, failing which they may be housed in government-created mass quarantine centers. The directive mentions that the selfie image shall include location coordinates to inform the government of the sender's location, and that every selfie sent by a home-quarantined person will be verified by the government. The state government has also released a mobile application which reveals the addresses of COVID-19 patients. The mobile app for tracking of quarantined patients has also been adopted by the Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra governments. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 31 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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India

The Assam COVID-19 Containment Regulations, 2020

This set of regulations include "geographic quarantine, social distancing measures, enhanced active surveillance, testing all suspected cases, isolation of cases, home quarantine of contacts, [and] social mobilization to follow preventive public health measures." The regulations indicate that house to house surveys are to be used for surveillance purposes. Those surveys involved daily house visits by supervisory officers. Individuals believed to be infected were required to isolate at home until examination by a Rapid Response Team. Surveillance teams reported their activities daily to a central authority. All non-essential services were shut down. Containment zones were established and restrictions were imposed on movement into and out of containment zones. The regulations also indicated that "rumors and myths are to be strictly controlled by the administration." 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 31 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Surveillance, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information, Movement

Type: regulation

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India

Mobile Phone Tracking App

The government has made it mandatory for all central government officials to use the government-built Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones. The app alerts users if a person in their vicinity has tested positive for Covid-19. The government has also made the app mandatory in virus "containment zones" throughout the country. The app lacks privacy protections, with the use of both Bluetooth and GPS, and with little transparency about how the data will be handled.


Introduced 1 May 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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India

Assam Anti-Disinformation Campaign

The Government of Assam filed charges against a Bengali daily published from Silchar, for carrying a false news report about the state’s first COVID-19 patient. The case was brought against the reporter who filed the story and the publisher of the newspaper under Section 188 of IPC and provisions of Assam COVID-19 Regulation, 2020. Additionally, Assam DIPR has formed a five-member committee for monitoring and checking fake news in all forms of media. The committee includes officials from the information, health, police and disaster management departments. The committee surveilled social media accounts and created WhatsApp numbers for the purpose of tracking information circulating on Whatsapp. As of April 8, 52 cases had been registered for spreading rumours/uploading objectionable comments on social media and a total of 25 people had been arrested, while eight were detained and then released.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 8 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Surveillance, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information

Type: practice

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India

Hand Stamps to Enforce Quarantines

The government of Maharashtra state announces a policy to stamp the hands of individuals required to self-quarantine. The stamps indicate that the stamped person must stay at home for two weeks, and indicate the dates of the person's required isolation. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 17 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Indonesia

Pedulilindungi Contact-Tracing Application

The PeduliLindingi application traces users' movement in real time using Bluetooth technology. Civil society organizations have expressed concern about the government's failure to make the source code for the app available and about other ways in which the government's use of the app has fallen short of providing sufficient protection for data privacy.  It is unclear whether the data are stored on a central server, and it is unclear to what extent consent is needed for data to be shared.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Iran

Government App Tracks Location and Movement

The government released a mobile app, A19, that claims to be able to detect whether or not the user is infected with COVID-19. The app collects personal details including the user's name, address, and date of birth, and uses software similar to that used by fitness apps to precisely track and share the user's location and movements. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 3 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Israel

Law on Shin Bet (Security Agency) Contact-Tracing Program

The law authorizes the Israeli Security Agency, Shin Bet, to track actual and suspected COVID-19 cases in coordination with the Ministry of Health. Under the law, Shin Bet is able to track individuals' locations and share cell phone traffic and location data with the Ministry of Health, so long as an authorizing declaration--issued by the government or the Knesset--is in place. The data are used to identify individuals with whom COVID-19 patients have had close contact; the Health Ministry sends a text message to those individuals, and they are required by law to enter quarantine. Shin Bet can retain individuals' data for up to 14 days after providing it to the Ministry of Health. Since the surveillance plan was announced, members of the public have started using prepaid SIM cards and burner phones in order to communicate without being detected. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Jul 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Israel

Tracking Cellphone Data

New regulations allow the police to track the cellphones of coronavirus patients or those suspected of being infected, without seeking a court order. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: regulation

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Italy

Decree No. 9 of 2020 Further Urgent Measures to Contain and Manage the Epidemiological Emergency from COVID-19

The decree imposes strict restrictions on individuals' travel and movement nationwide, prohibiting all public and private meetings or other gatherings, and instituting surveillance of individuals who have had contact with confirmed coronavirus cases. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 9 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Italy

Decree No. 8 Urgent Measures to Contain and Manage the Epidemiological Emergency from Covid-19

The decree empowers the President of the Council of Ministers to take measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 in certain areas of Italy designated as "red zones," including by limiting individuals' travel and movement; prohibiting all public and private meetings or other gatherings; and instituting surveillance of individuals who have had contact with confirmed coronavirus cases. Sanctions for noncompliance include detention for up to 3 months and fines of up to 200 Euros. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 8 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Jamaica

No. 8 Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures)

All individuals arriving on the island are tested for coronavirus, and must at a minimum self-quarantine for 14 days or until released from quarantine after testing negative. Health officials may order individuals they deem to be high risk--even if they test negative--to quarantine at a residence, hotel, or government designated facility. All persons in quarantine must wear an electronic monitoring device. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Jun 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Jordan

Defence Order No. 16 of 2020

The order prohibits wedding parties, social gatherings, and any other gatherings of more than twenty people. Wakes are prohibited, though outdoor burials are permitted. Electronic bracelets are required for real-time location tracking of quarantined persons. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Sep 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy

Type: order

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Jordan

Defence Order No. 8 on Reporting of Infections

The order requires all Jordanians and residents to immediately report to the authorities if they are infected with the coronavirus, if they have come into contact with an infected person, or if they become aware of any infected persons. Violators of this order will face imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of JOD 3,000 ($4,200). These penalties do not preclude steeper penalties in other laws.

قرار الدفاع رقم 8 بشأن الإبلاغ عن الإصابات

 يُلزم القرار جميع الأردنيين والمقيمين إبلاغ السلطات على الفور في حالة إصابتهم بفيروس كورونا المستجد، أو إذا خالطوا أي شخص مصاب، أو إذا كانوا على علم بأي أشخاص مصابين. يفرض القرار عقوبة السجن لمدة تصل إلى ثلاث سنوات وغرامة قدرها 3,000 دينار أردني (4,200 دولار أمريكي) على كل من يخالفه ولا تحول هذه العقوبات دون تطبيق عقوبات أشد صرامة في قوانين أخرى.

 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Privacy

Type: order

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Kazakhstan

SmartAstana Tracking App

The Kazakhstani Ministry of Health requires the approximately 8,000 Kazakhstani citizens currently under quarantine to use the SmartAstana tracking app, which allows officials to guarantee that these individuals remain in isolation. The app collects data on the user's location and movements, and it informs the Ministry of Health if the quarantined person leaves a 30-meter perimeter around their home or leaves their home without their phone. In either case, the app operator contacts the user by video call and finds out the reasons for the person's departure from the quarantine zone. Analysts note that the app is but one of recent efforts by the government to employ facial recognition, bio-metric identification, AI, and video surveillance technologies on the public. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: practice

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Kazakhstan

Use of Sergek Video Surveillance in Almaty

In Almaty, the Ministry of the Interior uses Sergek video surveillance installed in 27 checkpoints around the city to identify people who break quarantine.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Kuwait

Surveillance Bracelets

The government of Kuwait will require all returning nationals to wear electronic bracelets to ensure their compliance with measures to control the spread of COVID-19, including restrictions on movement.

أساور المراقبة

 ستلزم الحكومة الكويتية جميع المواطنين العائدين بوضع الأساور الإلكترونية لضمان امتثالهم لتدابير مكافحة انتشار فيروس كورونا المستجد، ويشمل ذلك فرض قيود على التنقل.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Kuwait

Shlonik Contact Tracing App Raises Privacy Concerns

Kuwait's Health Ministry launched an official contact-tracing application, Shlonik, which captures individuals' real-time location through GPS and uploads the location data to a centralized government database. The database links individuals' locations with their national ID numbers, which users must submit to use the app. The app can pair with a Bluetooth bracelet, to help ensure that the user remains close to their phone, in order to enforce quarantine measures. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Kyrgyzstan

STOP COVID-19 Tracking App

The government of Kyrgyzstan launched the STOP COVID-19 mobile phone app to trace the location of individuals suspected of having, or known to have, COVID-19. By May 2020, the app, which was developed by the State Committee for IT and Communications, had led to the arrest of 151 individuals for leaving their homes, and imposition of fines of over $800. It is not known which government agency has access to the information gathered by the app, or where the information is stored. Due to the uncertainties surrounding the app’s use, privacy advocates argue that the app violates personal privacy protections and cybersecurity protected by Kyrgyz law. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Jun 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: practice

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Liberia

Declaration of National Health Emergency

The Minister of Health declares a "national health emergency" on account of the coronavirus, and among other things bans all gatherings of more than 10 people. Individuals are required to report those who show signs of COVID-19 to the health and security authorities. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Privacy

Type: order

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Liechtenstein

Biometric Bracelet Testing Scheme

Under a pilot coronavirus tracking program, some citizens will wear biometric bracelets that track metrics like skin temperature, breathing and pulse. The bracelets send the data directly to a lab in Switzerland for analysis. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Mauritius

Quarantine (Quarantinable Diseases) Regulations, 2020

The order, issued by the Minister of Health and Wellness under Section 4 of the Public Health Act, imposes a complete lockdown for 14 days, including on supermarkets. Police have authority to enter any premises without a warrant to enforce compliance with the regulations. Criminal sanctions can be imposed for violations, including imprisonment of up to 6 months. Essential service workers must apply for an access permit to attend work on-site. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 20 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Mexico

Cellphone Monitoring

Telephone companies are obliged to provide access to cellphone antennas to enable the Digital Agency for Public Innovation (ADIP) to monitor movement of and contact between people in Mexico City, with the objective of identifying whether people comply with isolation instructions. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Montenegro

Disclosure of Identity of Persons in Self-Isolation

According to the policy, Montenegro's National Infectious Diseases Coordination Body will publish the names of individuals who have been required to self-isolate, along with the municipality and street where they live. The list will be updated daily. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 21 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: policy

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Nigeria

Data Use to Combat COVID-19

The Nigeria Governors' Forum has formed a partnership with MTN Nigeria, a telecommunication and internet service provider, to use subscriber data to combat COVID-19. The partnership has raised concerns over information sharing, privacy, and the protection of human rights. The data that will be used to develop services relating to COVID-19 will be personal information that was not originally shared or intended for this purpose. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 5 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Oman

Drones to Limit Social Gatherings

Oman authorities are using drones to patrol areas and limit social gatherings.

طائرات بدون طيار للحد من التجمعات الاجتماعية

السلطات العمانية تستخدم طائرات بدون طيار للقيام بدوريات في المناطق والحد من التجمعات الاجتماعية.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 6 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Palestine

Emergency Order No. 6 of 2020

The decree requires those subject to home quarantine to download a cellphone application that will track their movements outside the home. The Ministry of Health and law enforcement agencies are charged with implementation of the decision. The application uses GPS tracking to keep track of individuals' movements. Individuals must pledge in writing that they will not leave their homes without their phones. First- and second-degree relatives are tasked with ensuring quarantined individuals remain at home. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: order

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Peru

Supreme Decree 070-2020-PCM

The decree authorizes the government to access geolocation tracing data of certain individuals, including those who call an emergency phone line to report symptoms of the COVID-19 and are later confirmed to have the virus. The decree also mandates that private companies operating cell phone networks send out a weekly questionnaire to their subscribers, seeking information on identifying COVID-19 cases, and that state authorities may access the data collected through the questionnaire. The decree is issued pursuant to powers granted under the initial State of Emergency decree. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: order

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Peru

Peru en Tus Manos Tracking App

The Peru en Tus Manos mobile phone application was introduced on April 2, more than two weeks before the issuance of a law or decree authorizing the government to collect or use personal data to combat the COVID-19 crisis. The app uses geolocation tracking to track users' location in real time, but the privacy policy does not explain the destination or uses of that geolocation information. The government also refused to make the source code for the application available to the public.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Philippines

Police deployed to find COVID cases

The government has authorized the police to accompany health workers in visits to peoples' homes, searching for individuals with COVID-19. Under the policing plan, called operation Oplan Kalinga ("Care Strategy"), police may take any COVID-19 positive individuals to private quarantine facilities if they are unable to satisfy the requirements of home quarantine (such as having their own bathroom, and not residing with elderly or pregnant people). The door-to-door visits by police echo the government's tactics in their "war on drugs," in which police have killed thousands of people, including dozens during the pandemic.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Jul 2020

Issue(s): Privacy

Type: practice

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Poland

Cellphone App to Monitor Quarantine Compliance

The government launched a cellphone app that allows police to monitor individuals' compliance with quarantine; those who do not are subject to a fine of up to PLN 5,000. The app includes facial recognition technology. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Qatar

Law No. 9 Amending Law No. 17 of 1990 Regarding the Protection from Infectious Diseases to Assess with Combating COVID-19

Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani issued Amendments to Law No. 17. The amendments require certain individuals, including heads of households and office managers, to report to authorities if they suspect that a person has an infectious disease. The amendments also provide for up to three years in prison and a 200,000 Qatari Riyal fine in the case of noncompliance with this requirement or failure to comply with quarantine rules.

تعديلات على القانون رقم 17 لسنة 1990 بشأن الوقاية من الأمراض المعدية للحد من إنتشار فيروس كورونا.

المستجد

 أصدر الأمير الشيخ تميم بن حمد آل ثاني تعديلات على القانون رقم 17. تُلزم التعديلات أفراداً معينين، بمن فيهم أرباب الأسر ومدراء المكاتب، إبلاغ السلطات إذا اشتبهوا في إصابة شخص بمرض معدي. تنص التعديلات أيضاً على عقوبة السجن لمدة لا تتجاوز ثلاث سنوات وغرامة قدرها 200,000 ريال قطري في حالة عدم الامتثال لهذا الشرط أو عدم الامتثال لقواعد الحجر الصحي.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Privacy

Type: order

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Qatar

Mandatory Contact-Tracing Application

Participation in Qatar's contact-tracing application was mandated "until further notice" starting May 22. The app, Ehtiraz, uses real-time GPS and Bluetooth location tracking, and uploads collected data to a centralized government database for health officials' use in tracing possible COVID-19 infections. Citizens and residents are required to have the app installed on their mobile devices when leaving their homes. Failure to have the app installed could lead to a fine of $55,000 or three years in prison. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 May 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Romania

Military Ordinance no. 3/2020 on Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

This order by the Minister of the Interior prohibits non-essential travel outside homes. Extra restrictions are placed on people over age 65, though these restrictions do not apply midday, and they permit those over 65 to travel outside time restrictions for "professional interests" and for "agricultural activities." All persons entering the country are required to isolate at home. Local authorities are instructed to keep a database of homeless persons. The order imposes various restrictions on flights and sea vessels crossing national border. The order also expands the scope of responsibilities of the Ministry of Defense by increasing collaboration between the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of the Interior and border police, and by involving the Ministry of Defense in maintaining domestic public order. The order further indicates that "national security institutions will design communication systems and computer applications, necessary for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health and local authorities to communicate in real time and permanently with persons quarantined or isolated at home." Additionally, the order indicates that Romanian Police, the Romanian Gendarmerie and the local police are empowered to enforce the stay-at-home order, and it criminalizes non-compliance with the stay-at-home order. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 24 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement, Militarization

Type: order

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Romania

No. 195 on the Establishment of a State of Emergency in the Territory of Romania

The decree declares a "state of emergency" on account of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the decree, the following rights may be restricted during a state of emergency: freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, privacy, education, private property, and the right to strike. Additionally, the decree provides that the National Authority for Administrative and Regulatory Communications has powers to make "reasoned decisions" to censor online transmission of information related to COVID-19. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Emergency, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information, Movement

Type: order

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Russia

CCTV Cameras to Enforce Quarantine Measures in Moscow

Authorities are using a network of 100,000 new CCTV cameras on the streets of Moscow, controlled from a centralized COVID-19 control center, to enforce quarantine measures using facial recognition.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 24 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Singapore

Foreign Workers Required to Use Tracing App

The Minister of Health has ordered that all migrant workers living in dormitories must download the national contact tracing app, TraceTogether, by June 19. The app, which is not mandatory for other residents, requires that users register with their foreign identification number or passport number. A separate app, the SGWorkPass, indicates which migrant workers are allowed to leave their dormitories and resume work. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Jun 2020

Issue(s): Discrimination, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: policy

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Singapore

SafeEntry Tracing App

Businesses and certain other venues are required to use the SafeEntry system, which allows visitors to check into and out of their premises by scanning their smartphones or identification card. The system is linked directly to the Minister of Health. The website for the system indicates that "data collected by SafeEntry is only used by authorised personnel, and stringent measures are in place to safeguard the data in accordance with the Government’s data security standards." (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 9 May 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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South Africa

Repeal and Replacement of Regulations Issued under Sections 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act

The regulations repeals a number of prior orders and regulations issued under the Disaster Management Act, but retain a ban on all public gatherings except at funerals (which are limited to 50 people), workplaces, and gatherings for purchase of commodities. The regulation also provides for a system of contact tracing, and establishes a national COVID-19 Tracing Database. The Database will include the identification and contact information for all persons tested for COVID-19, and the details of known or suspected contacts of any person who tested positive for COVID-19. Within six weeks of the end of the State of Disaster, the Database information must be anonymized; anonymous information may be retained for research and any other information must be destroyed. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 29 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: regulation

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South Korea

Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act No. 14286

The Act, amended following the MERS epidemic in 2016 and again in 2020, gives the minister of health extensive legal authority to collect private data, without a warrant, from individuals already confirmed or suspected of having an infectious disease. The Act also allows authorities to send the whereabouts of certain patients to all smartphones in the patients' vicinity via an emergency text. The Act also allows authorities to “restrict or prohibit performances, assemblies, religious ceremonies, or any other large gathering of people.” (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Dec 2016

Issue(s): Assembly, Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Sri Lanka

Generalized Repression in Response to Pandemic

The Defense Ministry, which was appointed to lead the government's response to COVID-19, has arrested over 66,000 people for alleged curfew violations. Incidents of repression of dissent doubled in May, including beatings, arbitrary arrests, surveillance, death threats and hacking of electronic devices. The Ministry has sought assistance from intelligence agencies, rather than health services, in contact tracing, creating concern among civil society groups. There have been reports of intelligence agents interfering with civil society organizations attempting to service citizens' needs, and of intelligence agents visiting the homes of and making calls to organizations' members. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 8 Aug 2020

Issue(s): Association, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement, Militarization

Type: practice

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Sudan

Emergency Order No. 1 of 2020 Declaring a Public Health Emergency

The order declares a "state of public health emergency" in Sudan due to the coronavirus pandemic. The order criminalizes "disseminating incorrect statements or information, including rumors, through any means of publication or misleading the authorities regarding the pandemic." The order also criminalizes a failure to quarantine and interference with transportation of those suspected of being infected with COVID-19. The order criminalizes as well non-compliance with lockdown measures by "being present in public places" and failing to maintain social distance in several different contexts. Non-compliance with authorities requesting medical examinations is also criminalized. The order affords police the authority to close public places in violation of the order, to seize vehicles, to detain and arrest persons in violation, and to take "all necessary measures" to implement the order. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 12 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Emergency, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Movement

Type: order

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Taiwan

Electronic Security Monitoring System

The monitoring system tracks individuals using the GPS on their mobile devices. The system sends warning text messages to quarantined individuals who attempt to leave their homes, as well as to local government officials and the Central Epidemic Command Center. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Tunisia

Contact-Tracing App Raises Privacy Concerns

Tunisia's contact-tracing application tracks individuals' whereabouts in real time, using Bluetooth signals and GPS location data, to detect users who may have had contact with individuals infected with COVID-19. The app uploads location data and personal information including phone numbers to a centralized database that is accessible to the National Observatory of Emerging Diseases. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 May 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Tunisia

Deployment of Surveillance Robots

The Interior Ministry has deployed surveillance robots in parts of the capital, Tunis, to ensure that individuals are observing the government's lockdown orders. Individuals approached by the robot must present their ID and papers for the police to verify remotely.

 

نشر روبوتات مراقبة

 نشرت وزارة الداخلية روبوتات مراقبة في أجزاء من العاصمة تونس للتأكد من التزام الأفراد بأوامر الإغلاق الصادرة عن الحكومة. يجب على الأفراد الذين يقترب منهم الروبوت عرض بطاقات هويتهم وأوراقهم الثبوتية لتتمكن الشرطة من التحقق منها عن بعد.

 

 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 3 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Turkey

Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project

The Turkish Health Ministry launches the “Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project” to ensure COVID-19 patients are following quarantine measures. Downloading the app is mandatory for all confirmed coronavirus patients, and those found to be leaving their homes will receive automated text messages and calls. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 9 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: practice

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Ukraine

On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases" on Prevention of the Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

As amended, the law allows for the processing of personal data (health status, place of hospitalization or self-isolation, name, date of birth, place of residence) without consent. The data must be used solely for the purpose of implementing anti-epidemic measures. These provisions are adopted only for the period of quarantine and 30 days after its termination, at which point all such data shall be impersonalized. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Privacy

Type: law

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United Kingdom

Coronavirus Act 2020

The Act gives UK authorities emergency powers to address the coronavirus pandemic, including the power to detain individuals deemed “potentially infectious" and put them in isolation facilities. Individuals who fail to comply may be subject to a £1,000 fine. The Act also enables the government to restrict public events and other gatherings to prevent or otherwise control the spread of coronavirus. Under the Act, surveillance warrants may be in place for up to twelve days before they must be reviewed by judicial authorities, up from the current three days. The Act must be renewed by parliament every six months. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Surveillance, Privacy, Movement

Type: law

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Zambia

Public Health (Infected Areas) (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Regulations, No. 22 of 2020

The regulations among other things ban public gatherings of more than 5 people. They also provide that health officials may enter private premises without a warrant to "search for a case of Covid-19," and mandate that any individual suspected of having Covid-19 must be reported to health officials. The regulations provide that failure to comply with the regulations or a directive under the regulations shall be punished by a six-month prison sentence and a fine of 2,500 "penalty units." (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Privacy

Type: regulation

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Zimbabwe

SI No. 77 of 2020 Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) Regulations

Promulgated under the Public Health Act, the regulations among other things prohibit all gatherings of over 100 people for any purpose. Enforcement officers can arrest and detain those who refuse to comply. Enforcement officers can also order anyone reasonably suspected of infection to submit to a medical exam, which may include but not be limited to the taking of a bodily sample. The regulations provide for criminal sanctions in case of violation, up to one year's imprisonment and Level 12 fine. The regulations are in place until May 20 and can be extended for one month at a time. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 23 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Privacy

Type: regulation

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