Cell phone tracking during the Covid-19 pandemic


Cell phone tracking technology is finding itself at the forefront of the fight against the Coronavirus. Recently the South African government has announced  that it would use cell phone tracking to track people who it believes have had contact with others positive for Covid-19. 


Going back to the 5th of March the government now has the power to track the location of any citizen. To do this they will use cell phone operator’s geo location technology. Why the 5th of March? It is the day that the first citizen was confirmed positive for Covid-19. Within just over three weeks of the test, the country was in lockdown.

Cell phone operators initially refused to hand over the tracking information. They cited the users’ right to privacy. Not long after that, the government gazetted new regulations that compelled them to assist. The changes were promulgated just over a week ago and already the government has had to make modifications to ensure that the privacy of citizens is protected as much as possible. 

Under the new amendments, a judge will oversee the process. She will make recommendations about the protection of privacy. The government will store, on a single database, information about the people who are thought to have been in contact with anyone suspected of having Covid-19.