Against the background of the continued spread of the corona in our country, the Ministerial Committee this morning (Sunday) recommended extending the GSS’s location by three weeks.
At the same time, attempts are being made to replace the GSS’s location with the Shield 2 app. This morning, the Privacy Protection Authority submitted a second and up-to-date opinion to the ministerial staff in accordance with the General Security Service Certification Law.
The Authority called for a massive marketing and explanatory campaign for the implementation of “Shield 2” as it was developed in a way that maintains design principles for privacy.
The Privacy Protection Authority has submitted to the Ministerial Staff, which is examining the need for further assistance from the GSS in an attempt to reduce the spread of the corona virus, an updated opinion ahead of the hearing to be held today, Sunday, August 9, 2020. The Authority’s professional opinion was submitted in accordance with section 12 of the General Security Service Certification Act, to assist in the national effort to reduce the spread of the new corona virus.
The Authority reiterated its position in principle as presented in its opinion of 14 July 2020, that the use of the technological capabilities of the General Security Service for the purpose of locating the patient and his contacts, entails a serious violation of the privacy of all citizens of the country. Hence the need to locate and use proportionate alternative means, which can be used in the long term, even during high tide of the plague.
The Authority reiterates that it trusts the recently launched “Shield 2” widget, which it has examined and developed in a manner that preserves design principles for privacy, and calls for all measures to be taken for its immediate implementation among the public. The Authority emphasizes that the effectiveness of the widget requires the immediate investment of most of the resources and efforts in a massive marketing and explanatory campaign to which senior decision-makers in the country as well as opinion leaders should be recruited. Such a campaign, the authority believes, must include messages of transparency and privacy in order to raise public confidence in the widget and encourage its installation.
With regard to the effectiveness of the GSS tool mechanism, the Authority notes that the GSS tool mechanism is not without errors. Various data, provided by the Ministry of Health, show that more than half of the objections submitted by those who were notified of the isolation obligation through the GSS mechanism were accepted and led to release from isolation. In addition, only about 4.3% of those who were notified of the isolation obligation through the GSS apparatus , Were diagnosed at the end of a blue day.
Of all the patients diagnosed in Israel, since the month of using the GSS apparatus in early July, only about a third were previously detected by the GSS apparatus, about a third were detected through an epidemiological investigation, and another third were not detected as contacts before they occurred. There is real doubt as to whether the usefulness of the tool today justifies the dramatic invasion of the privacy of all residents of Israel, by constantly monitoring their movement in space.
Regarding the effectiveness of epidemiological investigations, the Authority notes in its opinion that according to the data presented by the Ministry of Health, epidemiological investigations are a very effective mechanism for stopping the chain of infection and infringing on the privacy of GSS vessels. Therefore significant additional resources are needed. Significantly, in order to expand its use, at least until the widespread implementation of the protective widget among the public, the Authority notes that the epidemiological investigation is used, among other things, to improve the movement routes of verified patients, before distributing them to the public through the protective widget.
Regarding the possibility of implementing complementary measures, which are intended to assist in interrupting the chain of infection among population segments that do not use smartphones – before discussing their implementation and formulating a comprehensive solution, an in-depth review of the impact on privacy analysis should be performed. Privacy and information security aspects. Therefore, an individual examination of the degree of invasion of privacy of each of the complementary measures under consideration must be performed, which will address technological aspects, the means’ access to external databases, and how the public will be required to use it (by consent or as a condition of entry). (Entering a crowded place, returning from abroad, receiving essential service, etc.).