Internet Freedom Foundation seeks modification to in-development tracking tool for medical professionals
The Internet Freedom Foundation has sent a legal notice to the Broadcast Engineering Consultants India, Limited (BECIL), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, calling on the organisation to modify a tender seeing procurement of a "Personnel Tracking GPS Solution" and "COVID-19 Patient Tracking Tool" intended for the organisation's employees.
IFF is concerned that the procurement items, while nominally intended to address health risks, will certainly injure the constitutional rights or privacy, dignity, and security of health care workers and those at risk of infection. The Personnel Tracking GPS Solution is intended for medical professionals and rescue teams; according to the tender it will require deployment through mandatory wearable devices; it will incorporate geofencing and live movement tracking; and it will use facial recognition technology to prevent impersonation.
The specification for the COVID-19 Patient Tracking Tool says it's to detect, prevent, and investigate "threats to national security"; will be required to pull information from multiple government databases including telecom data and internet data; and is designed for mass surveillance.