Technical flaws in Moscow app lead to wrongly fining thousands of people
Technical flaws in Moscow's app, intended to track people with COVID-19 and symptoms of other respiratory diseases, led the authorities to wrongly fine hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people, alleging they had breached self-quarantine. The app was originally launched at the end of March, but had to be taken down and relaunched in late April, when Moscow's mayor decreed that anyone displaying symptoms of a respiratory disease, as well as those testing positive for COVID-19, and anyone sharing the residence of either group, should self-quarantine for two weeks. Doctors were required to have patients and their family members sign a quarantine notification, which included a requirement to install the app, but without guidance on how to use it or what might trigger a fine. Critics call the app excessively intrusive, and highlight its potential to become a dangerous weapon for an abusive government.
Writer: Human Rights Watch
Publication: Human Rights Watch