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Coronavirus: government can use cell data to locate agglomeration of …

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Coronavirus: government can use cell data to locate agglomeration of ...

Cell phone operators are going to provide the government with data that can allow the monitoring of movement, displacement and crowding points.

The data may help, for example, in identifying situations of risk of contamination by the new coronavirus.

According to Sinditelebrasil, a union that brings together operators, the data will be passed on by Algar Telecom, Claro, Oi, Tim and Vivo.

What will be made available to the government, the union said, are the mobility data originated by cell phones connected to their networks. This information will be forwarded to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications. According to the operators, the data provided are aimed exclusively at combating covid-19.

The companies informed that in this solution, the data will be in the public cloud and organized in an aggregated, statistical and anonymous way, according to the rules of the General Data Protection Law (LGPD) and the Marco Civil da Internet.

Use of data to fight coronavirus can respect privacy

For lawyers, although the General Data Protection Act (LGPD) does not come into effect until August, this does not prevent the use of data to assist health officials during the pandemic from following the guidelines laid down in the LGPD.

The LGPD was approved in 2018 and is expected to take effect from February this year, but the term has been extended. The law provides guidelines on the use, treatment and consent of individual data. Experts also warn of a further postponement of the LGPD in the face of the current situation.

According to Ivo Corrêa, partner at XVV Advogados and professor at Insper, without the legislation we do not have a specific law that goes into the detail of the topic and the data authority, which is provided for in the LGPD, is needed to help deal with the moment that we live.

“Using the LGPD guidelines is a good idea. The Marco Civil and the Constitution give this line. We will undoubtedly need to be guided by constitutional principles, common sense, reasonableness, to guarantee the right of people without neglecting such an important emergency ”, he says.

"It has ways of doing things to help fight the pandemic, respecting protection and not exposing or violating any rights".

Also in February, a law on coronavirus prevention in Brazil was passed, providing, among other measures, that companies should share data with health authorities to assist in combating Covid-19.

According to Rafael Zanatta, research coordinator at Data Privacy Brasil, an organization that defends digital privacy, the law does not make clear the limits of the use of this data during the pandemic we live in. According to him, international authorities recognize the seriousness of the situation – which requires collaboration to find innovative solutions that can help to contain the spread of Covid-19.

"There are ways to do this that collect as little information as possible and give preference to techniques that collect and analyze aggregated data," he says.

He cites heat maps or cartographic analysis as examples, two ways to understand whether people are fulfilling social isolation or moving around, without the need to share and analyze individual data, for example. The initiative proposed by the operators follows this line.

For Zanatta, private companies and civil entities can build data packages that take into account these issues, which are present in the LGPD, such as using the data for a specific period of time, with a reasoned need for application and deletion of the data after use.

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