Monitoring not only the infected, but also everyone who came into contact with them. They monitored since March, but as if unofficially, now, after the fact, they decided to fix this case by law. Why they decided only now is unclear. Maybe at first they hoped that rare publications on this topic would be forgotten?
For readers of Mobile-Review, this is not news, read the section “About mobile positioning and coronavirus” in the review here, at the end of March I recommended leaving the phone on at home when visiting stores and other places with a high concentration of people. Do not turn off the phone, namely leave it at home. I also advise you to read the last section at the end of the review here, I analyzed in detail the features of the work (if THIS could be called work) of the infamous Social Monitoring application. It was, of course, quiet horror and natural mockery of people, a fine of 8 rubles. for a smoke break on the balcony – it’s strong. They write that the Moscow government gave many millions of rubles for this wonderful application, probably hoping to get this money back and make some money on fines. Alas, the application worked so badly that the mayor of Moscow ordered to cancel all 000 million rubles “earned” by the application.
I am writing about this now to explain that cellular monitoring and the Social Monitoring application are different tools with different purposes, they do not duplicate each other. Monitoring is “sharpened” first of all on the establishment of all accidentally or not accidentally in contact with a sick or infected person. And the application must carefully monitor human behavior and compliance with a strict quarantine regime, in fact, a house arrest regime, to call a spade a spade. There is a requirement to regularly send selfies with their coordinates, and much more. However, back to the main topic.
What and how legalized
Read a detailed analysis in “Interfax” here, all the main things are stated there. For those who do not like longreads – a couple of quotes.
“Moscow. July 6. INTERFAX.RU – As part of the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications intends to track the geolocation of the phone number not only of the patients with coronavirus, but also to determine those who were in contact with them in the previous two weeks.
“The initial data for the functioning of the tracking system are the data of the Ministry of Health of Russia on the number of a mobile radiotelephone subscriber (hereinafter referred to as PRTS) infected with COVID-19. Using specialized algorithms, a list of PRTS subscribers who were in the same geolocation and have constant contact using mobile communications with a subscriber included in the register for the previous 14 days is identified, ”says an explanatory note to the draft order of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications on the approval of the regulations.
This list of contacts is supposed to be specified taking into account the data on the time of joint presence of subscribers and the peculiarities of movement during the observed period. “
What is interesting for you and me here is that mobile operators not only track the movements of all their subscribers, but also store this data for at least two weeks. We can safely assume that it is all subscribers, since the list of contacts with a possibly infected person is unknown in advance.
“” As a result, lists of subscriber numbers are formed who were at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the course of direct communication with the sick person. The obtained data are centralized on the information resources of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russia and sent to the operational headquarters of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, the Russian Guard, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia and the Ministry of Health of Russia, ”the explanatory note says.
Information and organizational and technical interaction is carried out between the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Russian Guard, the operational headquarters of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and the operators of the PRTS MegaFon, MTS, VimpelCom, T2 Mobile LLC and Yekaterinburg-2000 LLC.
“The ministry noted that the tracking system does not collect personal data. “Thus, personal data of Russians is not collected, since the phone number itself is not them,” the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications explained.
In “operational headquarters, Rosgvardia, God knows where and to whom …”. How much personal data about all movements of citizens will be replicated? To whom and in how many copies? And yes, yes, they were consoled: “the phone number itself is not personal data.” That is, ordering and receiving a detailed dossier on a person with all his movements and a list of those with whom he met in two weeks is easy, because this is not personal data, it is, they say, just a phone number. Do they really think that the information about who owns the phone number is super-secret and unreachable? Or is it a pre-prepared excuse? If not an excuse, then all the officials of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications who participated in this should be urgently dismissed with a diagnosis of “falling into childhood incompatible with the position held.”
If you think that these are all scary stories sucked out of the finger, then you should not think so. Invigorating news about leaks, hacks, etc. appear almost daily. Just yesterday, July 8, 2020, fresh from Gazeta.ru, quote:
“… Offers were discovered for the sale of alleged access to data from cameras of the city video surveillance system. According to the founder of DeviceLock Ashot Hovhannisyan, such announcements appear periodically. “For about 30 thousand rubles, it is proposed to get unlimited access to data from the cameras of the city video surveillance system stored in the ETSHD,” he added. When purchasing data from cameras, not only online broadcasting becomes available, but also recording for the last five days. “This allows an attacker to remotely monitor both a specific object and individual people, and by switching between cameras, you can accompany a person through the city streets until they descend into the metro,” Hovhannisyan explained.
Agree, 30 thousand rubles. for such an account – quite inexpensive. And how to combine data from surveillance cameras with data from a cellular monitoring system, you yourself can easily guess. Even the hotly debated face recognition system will not be needed, it will be enough to know the phone number of the “object”.
Picture taken from scanpin.ru
It seems to me that under the guise of an uncompromising battle with the damned coronavirus, we received a legalized gorgeous surveillance tool available to almost any Russian National Guard from the mountain. And it is very likely that there will be federated databases with many thousands of people. All this informational grace may well be available on the black market for reasonable rewards.
You and I just need to keep in mind that the notorious privacy can become a myth in our country, not only on the topic “where I was and who I called”, but also “with whom I was and how often I was”. Cellular operators can get overwhelmed as much as they like, but if they are obliged by law to give an official from the “headquarters” a list of contacts with you and all routes for moving your number, they will be given out as pretty. And you just have to complain to the ECHR or, as they advise in the immortal literary work, to the league of sexual reforms.
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