Turkey to use mobile data to track isolation

Turkey to use mobile data to track isolation

Turkey to use mobile data to track isolation

In scope of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Turkey has launched a brand new project in a bid to monitor citizens who have been isolated due to COVID-19.

The Turkish Health Ministry has actualized the Isolation Tracking Project (ITP) to track the citizens who have been put under isolation and warn them if necessary, the Presidential Communications Directorate said.

The project has started to be implemented with the cooperation of Information and Communication Technologies Authority and all the available carriers.

The ITP aims to control whether citizens, or the relatives of the citizens, abide by isolation rules the state has set out.

If isolated citizens leave their houses, they will receive a warning text on their mobile phones. They will also be contacted immediately via an auto-call and will be asked to return to their isolation locations.

If the citizens continue do not abide by the rules, their violations will be shared with the security units and necessary administrative measures and enforcements will be implemented.

Furthermore, police teams, who are in charge of carrying out controls on the roads, will be able to find out if a person is breaking their isolation, by checking up on their information.

The application will not only monitor the isolated citizens’ movements, but will also be able to control the mobility in quarantined regions and thus conduct analyses.

China, Singapore, South Korea and other countries have asked residents to use apps and other technology to track their compliance with quarantines, but privacy activists argue such measures can compromise individual liberties.

The European Union is drawing up common rules for using mobile apps to track the spread of the virus, aiming to make better use of the technology and address privacy concerns.

The data, which will be collected within the scope of the project, will not be used for any other means, except the fight against the virus outbreak, and will be destroyed once the pandemic is over, according to the directorate.

The state will protect the citizens’ data and will strictly control the security of the established system.

The project does not violate with the law on the protection of personal data.

According to Article 6 of the said code, personal data can be collected to protect the public health and to carry out medical works by authorities or authorized institutions who have the obligation to keep these as secrets.

“We are adding more measures in our fight against the coronavirus. Our newest step is the ‘Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project’ developed by our Health Ministry. We are more powerful than the virus with this project,” Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said in a tweet.

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