The Supreme Court of Israel ruled out the continuation of the use of the Shin Bet security service’s cell phone tracking of confirmed coronavirus carriers. The panel of three justices, led by Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut gave the order on April 26.
The order also granted the government the right to approve an extension of the tracking for the coming weeks, on condition that it begins the legislative process that should be started as early as April 30 and completed within weeks.
The Supreme Court said, “The state’s choice to use its preventative security service for monitoring those who wish it no harm, without their consent, raises great difficulties and a suitable alternative, compatible with the principles of privacy, must be found.”
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said he was concerned by the court’s decision because the Shin Bet “has had a critical contribution in curbing the pandemic and allowing us to gradually lift the lockdown, giving Israel’s citizens back their freedom of movement and occupation”.