Kuwait and Bahrain have rolled out some of the most invasive Covid-19 contact-tracing apps in the world, putting the privacy and security of their users at risk, Amnesty International says.
The rights group found the apps were carrying out live or near-live tracking of users’ locations by uploading GPS co-ordinates to a central server.
It urged the Gulf states to stop using them in their current forms.
Norway has halted the roll-out of its app because of similar concerns.
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The country’s data protection authority said the app represented a disproportionate intrusion into users’ privacy given the low rate of infection there.
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Researchers at Amnesty’s Security Lab carried out a technical analysis of 11 apps in Algeria, Bahrain, France, Iceland, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Norway, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
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Bahrain’s “BeAware Bahrain” and Kuwait’s “Shlonik” stood out, along with Norway’s “Smittestopp”, as being among the most alarming mass surveillance tools, according a report published on Tuesday.
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