The Spanish government has proclaimed an ordinance allowing the collection and use of location data of the population of ultra-pyrenees. An application is also expected to see the light of day.

It is now a shadow that hangs over the whole globe on the occasion of each event. As was the case with the attacks of September 11, 2001 that resulted in the Patriot Act in the United States, or the attacks of November 2015 in France, where was born an Act of intelligence is controversial, the pandemic Covid-19 raising fears that the monitoring body invites a little more in our daily lives, this time in the guise of a safe-guard health. Everywhere in the world, surveillance measures are intended officially to stem the spread of the virus. A movement first launched in Asia, but that takes root in Europe, and most recently in Spain.

An app to locate your potential patients

The government of Pedro Sánchez, who has declared a containment provisional until the 11th of April, noted that mobile operators will provide to the national Institute of statistics of spain (INE), the telecommunications data of citizens. These measures include a study on the mobility statistics of the Spanish, as it is applied in Italy, for example, on the basis of location data of mobile phones. These data will be collected, aggregated and anonymized, in compliance with the european legislation.

The State secretariat for the Digitization and Artificial Intelligence has also been responsible for developing an emergency app in order to “support the management of the health crisis caused by the Covid-19”. This application should also be used to perform a self-assessment based on the symptoms of users, or even providing them with health advice. The government order stipulates that those who show symptoms will be able to be pinpointed “in the sole purpose of verifying that they reside in the province in which they are declared.

Everything is still a blur about location data

On this side of the Pyrenees, the use of location data is also relevant. Last week, the French government has established a new scientific committee, named Care, of which a part of the reflection should serve to the opportunity of the implementation of a digital strategy for the identification of persons who have been in contact with infected people.

Meanwhile, it was learned that the EU spoke with the telephone operators in europe, including Orange in France, and that the location data held by the company will be transferred at the instance of brussels, aggregated and anonymised, in order to perform statistical studies on the pandemic. For the time being, the individual follow-up seems not to be envisaged in the Hexagon.