מליאת הכנסת
The Knesset plenum
Photo: Knesset
The Knesset plenum

Knesset passes Shin Bet virus contact tracing bill

Legislation comes into immediate effect and will last for 3 weeks until civilian alternative is developed; ministerial committee would regularly re-examine need for continued Shin Bet assistance

Moran Azulay |
Published: 07.01.20 , 23:07
Knesset on Wednesday passed into law a bill that allows the Shin Bet security agency to track cellphones of coronavirus carriers in case other contact tracing measures do not suffice.
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  • The legislation will come into effect immediately and will last for three weeks until a civilian alternative is developed. Meanwhile, Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will discuss the possibility of enshrining the move in permanent legislation.
    מליאת הכנסת ברגעי ההצבעהמליאת הכנסת ברגעי ההצבעה
    The Knesset plenum
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    The Health Ministry will also use the tool on days when the number of patients is exceptionally high and epidemiological investigations alone could not meet the demand.
    The law stipulates that the government must establish a ministerial committee that would regularly re-examine the need for continued Shin Bet assistance while considering the spread of the disease, the effectiveness of the service in reducing infections, and existing alternatives.
    In addition, the committee will also weigh in violations of privacy with the assistance of the Privacy Protection Authority.
    מעקב קורונה מעקב קורונה
    Illustration
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    The bill also states that the Shin Bet will not contact a patient or any of their contacts and will not engage or assist in monitoring or enforcing the self-isolation of a patient or their contacts.
    In addition, the Shin Bet and the Health Ministry will submit a weekly report to Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on their activities and the nature of the information obtained under the authorities bestowed on the Shin Bet by the law.
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