Cambodia: Govt. defend COVID-19 measures by using QR code system to trace people; UN experts write letter to express concerns of privacy & human rights
"Cambodia rebuffs concerns on 'Stop Covid' QR Code", 21 May 2021
Cambodia has defended the use of the "Stop Covid" QR Code system to contain Covid-19, shrugging off concerns raised by two UN special rapporteurs over its "infringement on the rights to privacy".
In a letter … to the UN Human Rights Council through the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva and made public …, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications said the "Stop Covid” QR code was used solely to prevent the virus from spreading into the community.
Rhona Smith, special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Cambodia, and Tlaleng Mofokeng, special rapporteur on the right to health, … wrote a joint letter seeking response from Cambodia on the use of the system. They expressed concerns that it would violate privacy and be used for the wrong purposes.
“Please provide information on steps taken or to be taken by Your Excellency’s Government to ensure that the right to privacy and data of individuals will be protected…
The ministry said the "Stop Covid” QR code was on a voluntary basis and no one has been punished for not using it. The system, it said, was adopted as 77 per cent of the 21 million mobile phone service subscribers in Cambodia use smartphones.
The ministry said the “Stop Covid” QR code system enabled the authorities to carry out contact tracing, help individuals who have been exposed to Covid-19 to self-quarantine, get tested and treated timely to prevent the virus spreading…