Privacy concerns raised over COVID-19 contact tracing

Smartphone

Ottawa-based non-profit group Public Interest Advocacy Centre is asking Canada's telecommunications regulator to disclose any contact-tracing partnerships involving Canada's communications providers and give guidelines about how they should protect privacy rights.

PIAC says it wants to prevent private enterprises and public sector groups from eroding privacy rights unnecessarily in the name of public health.

A growing number of privacy rights advocates are raising concerns about the potential dangers of using smartphones, internet services and software to track people infected with COVID-19.

The group says the Telecommunications Act requires the CRTC to contribute to privacy protections, especially by actively monitoring and disclosing how the country's communications services are involved with contact tracing efforts.