The Israeli Supreme Court ruled against the government's covert tracking program for coronavirus patients, placing strict limits on the use of the Shin Bet intelligence agency for tracing COVID cases.
In its ruling Monday morning, the Court partially accepted the petition filed by a group of NGOs including Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians Clinic for Human Rights, and Privacy Israel.
The petition had challenged the government's decision to empower the Shin Bet internal security agency to track Israeli citizens without their knowledge in order to trace the movements of coronavirus patients and identify people who may have come into contact with COVID carriers.
While the Court did not ban the use of covert Shin Bet COVID tracking of Israeli civilians entirely, it established strict limits on such tracking.
Under the ruling, the Shin Bet will only be able to track diagnosed coronavirus patients who have refused to cooperate with health authorities in epidemiological tracing investigations, in which officials attempt to identify any people who came into contact with the infected person long enough to require going into isolation.
The law empowering the Shin Bet to use covert tracking techniques was not struck down, however.