Government mobilizes all police to monitor app on mobile phones


The Government will place all police authorities to inspect the Portuguese who, having a mobile phone, have not installed the “StayAway Covid” application.

The fines provided can go up to 500 euros. In the draft law that the Executive delivered on Wednesday night to Parliament, and to which the JN had access, it is said that the use of the “StayAway Covid” application will be “mandatory, in the context of work or similar, school and academic”. by the owners of equipment that allows it “.

To that end, enforcement of the new law will be “the responsibility of the National Republican Guard, the Public Security Police, the Maritime Police and the municipal police,” the document said.

The Executive led by António Costa also proposes that all public and similar employees be forced to install the application. The obligation “covers in particular workers in public functions, employees and agents of the Public Administration, including the State, regional and local business sector, professionals from the Armed Forces and security forces”, specifies the draft law.

On Wednesday, the Data Protection Commission rejected the Government’s intention to force the use of the “StayAway Covid” application, which has been downloaded 1.2 million times since the end of August. “Serious issues related to privacy”, “strong ethical reservations” and “hardly enforceable” legislation are the flaws that the entity responsible for ensuring the privacy of the Portuguese once again pointed out, on a day when the country broke a record of new infections (2072).

At the origin of the reaction is António Costa’s guarantee, yesterday after the Council of Ministers that declared the situation of calamity [ler ao lado], that the Government will ask Parliament “an urgent procedure to impose the mandatory use of the mask on public roads” and “also for the StayAway application”.

For the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD), “imposing by law the use of the” StayAway “application, in whatever context, raises serious questions related to citizens’ privacy, removing the possibility to choose, if they wish , do not give control of your location and movements to third parties “. CNPD also reminded JN of the reservations it had when it commented on the launch of the app and stressed the need to have a “voluntary character”. But the organization goes further: “No country, out of a total of 55 countries adhering to the Data Protection Convention, has mandatorily implemented this type of application”.

“Voluntary” and “safe”

The prime minister, who has called for the use of the app – which he described as “essential, voluntary, confidential and safe” – stressed that the imposition would be “in the context of work, school and academia, in the Armed Forces and security, and in the whole of public administration “. Government source explained to JN that, given the “sensitivity of the theme”, Costa wants Parliament to decide. But the parties are reluctant.

Among constitutionalists, if the obligation to wear a mask is consensual, that of application raises more doubts. Jonatas Machado and Bacelar Gouveia consider that “for the protection of people” the constitutionality of the app will not raise any doubt. As for Reis Novais, “the Government cannot impose the acquisition of a state-of-the-art mobile phone and an operating system that allows the use of the app”: “As it would be an unconstitutional norm, I hope it was a lapse in communication by minister”.

It is this doubt that four of the benches raise. Fonte do BE assumed, to JN, that “it would be difficult to enforce and unacceptable in a rule of law” such an obligation. As well as the centrist Ana Rita Bessa, who said that the imposition of the app was “legally complicated”.

To JN, Bebiana Cunha (PAN) called “first an assessment of the use of the app, instead of running the risk of violating the Constitution”. The Liberal Initiative has warned that it can appeal to the Constitutional Court. The rest of the parties prefer to wait for the Government’s proposal.

INESC TEC, which designed the application, admitted to JN that it was unaware of “the Government’s intention”.


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