Coronavirus and the Constitution – IV: Privacy in a Public Health Crisis [Guest Post]

Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy

[This is a guest post by Suhrith Parthasarathy.]


In a bid to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, governments across the world are using means and measures that would otherwise be considered invasive and illegitimate. In some countries—China and Israel, among others—the State has used phone tracking devices to monitor the movements of persons who have either contracted the virus or have come into contact with someone who might have done so. Even the European Union has relaxed some of its existing regulations governing the sharing of location data. On 23 March, the European Commission wrote to a number of the continent’s telecom operators, urging them to share anonymized and aggregated mobile phone data. This information, the commission said, was necessary for it to track how the virus was spreading and to determine where and in what areas people’s medical needs were most necessary. Indeed, as a Financial Times report pointed…

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