Feds admit tracking 33 million mobile phone devices during lockdowns – Windsor Star

Science & Technology

Ever feel like you’re being followed?
The Public Health Agency admits it tracked 33 million mobile devices to monitor the population’s movement during lockdowns, according to Blacklock’s Reporter .
The agency says cell tower locators were used to “understand the public’s responsiveness during lockdown measures.”
“Due to the urgency of the pandemic the Agency collected and used mobility data such as cell tower location data throughout the COVID-19 response,” said agency spokesperson Mark Johnson.
“It was to help understand possible links between the movement of populations within Canada and COVID.”
The reason the directive was disclosed was, according to Johnson, to “to be open and transparent.”
However, it also comes following a federal contractors’ notice that the agency will permanently introduce cell tower tracking.
“The agency will use mobility data to describe and analyze population-level trends,” said Johnson.
“Mobility data cannot be used to track or monitor individuals.”
The agency says those contractors must make sure information is “cleaned and processed,” and any “demographic and population information” doesn’t name individuals.
It’s been proposed the program be extended for up to five more years.
Cabinet has yet to legislate any pandemic-related privacy safeguards.
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