December 27 – The Canadian Public Health Agency recently admitted that at least 33 million mobile device positioning data were secretly tracked during the COVID-19 lockdown to analyze people’s travel trajectories, and plans to expand the tracking scope of population data within the next five years.
According to the Canadian National Post and Russia today on the 26th, in March this year, the Canadian Public Health Administration signed a contract with Telus, a communication company, whereby the Department of Health can obtain complete trajectory data of Canadian citizens to “remove identity information”.
The contract expired in October this year, after which the Department of Health could not continue to access these data. During the lockdown, the Department of Health accessed the signal tower to obtain location data of at least 33 million mobile devices, using these data to evaluate the effectiveness of the lockdown measures and analyze the links between population movements and the spread of COVID-19.
A spokesman for Public Health Canada said that the agency plans to continue to track population mobility data over the next five years and will expand the coverage of the data to include other public health matters such as other infectious diseases, chronic disease prevention and psychological profiles. The Canadian Special Advisory Committee regularly shares this information with other provinces and territories to provide a basis for public health planning and policy formulation.
This long-term project has raised concerns about the security of private data in some people in Canada. Before and after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians will find more unauthorized similar surveillance measures,” critic David Lyon said. “‘Identity information’ data can be easily restored to ‘identity information’.”