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Wed May 11 01:05:49 PDT 2022
Health Authorities Tracked Movements Of Canadians Via Cellphones During Pandemic
Health authorities in Canada tracked people’s movements via their
cellphones during the pandemic, with trips to pharmacies and liquor
stores being logged, it has been revealed.
“BlueDot, an intelligence analysis company, prepared movement reports
for PHAC using anonymized data acquired from mobile devices. The
reports helped the public health agency understand movement patterns
during the pandemic,” reports Reclaim the Net.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was able to obtain detailed
insights into people’s movements and recorded their visits to liquor
stores, pharmacies, visits to friends and trips to other provinces,
also collecting information on time spent in each location.
“Questions remain about the specifics of the data provided if
Canadians’ rights were violated, and what advice the Liberal
government was given,” said Conservative MP Damien Kurek.
The ethics committee asserted that the PHAC should have told Canadians
their movements were potentially being monitored and given them the
option to opt out.
The PHAC claimed the program was “not about following individuals’
trips to a specific location, but rather in understanding whether the
number of visits to specific locations have increased or decreased
As we highlighted last week, the CDC purchased tracking data for
millions of Americans’ mobile phones with an intention of monitoring
their movements to see if they were complying with lockdowns, curfews
and travel restrictions during the COVID pandemic.
During the first winter lockdown in January 2021, a poll found that a
plurality of people in Britain supported giving the government powers
to spy on people’s movements via cellphone tracking to enforce
In the same month, Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt called for the
government to use GPS tracking technology to ensure Brits were
complying with COVID quarantine measures.
Hunt demanded, “Daily contact with those asked to self-isolate – using
GPS tracking to monitor compliance if necessary as happens in Taiwan
and Poland. People need to know how much this matters and if we cannot
persuade them to comply at the outset we should keep trying.”
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