COVID-19: could the government geolocate you?


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Your cell phone is full of information. Among other things, they allow to knowwhere you are: this is called geolocation. Can the government obtain this information to control the pandemic?

Geolocate people infected with COVID-19

Directors of public health can order a person with COVID-19 to isolate themselves. If she refuses to do so, the police can find her and arrest her. The police can use several methods to find this person. In April, police used geolocation to find an infected person who did not follow the order to isolate himself.

Geolocate to prevent contamination

One of the solutions envisaged to prevent contamination is to geolocate the population to identify people who have been in contact with an infected person. The Quebec government has no plans to impose such a measure at this time. But could he do it? It is difficult to answer this question with certainty.

Indeed, the current situation poses a real risk to the health of the population, which gives exceptional powers to the government. However, geolocation contravenes individual rights and freedoms.

Towards voluntary geolocation?

This is what the Alberta government is proposing. Albertans will be able to choose whether they agree to be geolocated using a smartphone app. This application will notify a person who has been in contact with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19. This same type of application is being studied, particularly in France.

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