EU - Coronavirus App Privacy Concerns

Arno Froese

National authorities have already released or plan to roll out contact-tracing apps across the EU, with the idea that these technologies make it easier and quicker for health authorities to alert or find those potentially exposed to the coronavirus.

However, the human rights group Amnesty International warned that the use of surveillance technologies to combat Covid-19 is, in many cases, not compatible with international human rights standards and could even lead to a more intrusive digital surveillance state.

This potential backlash could encourage the upcoming German EU’s council presidency in the second half of the year to address the lack of human right safeguards across member states when applying tracing apps or any upcoming technologies, as well as when exporting surveillance technologies, Lena Rohrbach from Amnesty International Germany told this website.

Meanwhile, MEPs on the European Parliament’s committee on civil liberties warned that “whenever personal data is processed in the context of fighting Covid-19, data protection rules are indispensable.” 

The head of the European Data Protection Supervisor, Wojciech Wiewiórowski, said that data protection should not become a problem to enabling digital solutions for a public health crisis.

“We have the moral responsibility to use the tools that we have on our hands to fight the pandemic, but we have also the responsibility to minimize the impact of these technologies on our fundamental rights,” Wiewiórowski said.

-euobserver.com, 12 May 2020

Arno's commentary

While each nation bears a degree of responsibility for the well-being of its citizens, it becomes increasingly clearer that coronavirus is not a national, but truly a universal issue. The damage done is only revealed in estimates; no one really knows the end figure. 

With this new proposed contact-tracing app across the EU, the coronavirus and any other pandemic in the future will be more manageable—if the app is used properly. But, as previously mentioned, Europe has the strictest laws when it comes to protecting the privacy of individuals. Thus, laws will need to be changed to be implemented globally. Whatever the end result, coronavirus is one event that has caused humankind to expose its helplessness on the one hand, and its eager intention to solve its own problems on the other.

What we do know from the words of Jesus is that these things will continue to happen, they will increase, and, in the end—according to the prophetic Word—the world will indeed become one.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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