Want to Work in Israel? Give up Access to Your Phone
During the COVID-19 period, West Bank Palestinians working in Israel are not allowed to return to their homes, forced to leave their families and reside in Israel for an extended period of time. They are exploited by employers and forced to work without health insurance or appropriate residential and accommodation (a matter for which we petitioned the High Court of Justice).
As of recently, workers are required to fill out a declaration of health through the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories’ app, “Almunasaq المنسق”. This is seemingly a reasonable and legitimate request, simply asking an employee to use the app to declare that they are not experiencing a cough or fever, nor have they been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient in the past two weeks. However, in order to fill out this form, the employee must download the app to their phone and create a personal account, and in this process agree to the app’s terms of service.
The terms of service include allowing the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Israeli Army full access to all information in the employee’s phone, including: contacts, messages, camera access, and geographic location. The Army and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories are able to heavily utilize this information as they see fit, store it, and even share it with third parties.
On 3.5.2020, ACRI, Physicians for Human Rights and Worker’s Hotline appealed to the State Attorney’s office. Attorney Abir Joubran Dakwar, Unit Director of Human Rights in the Occupied Territories at ACRI, and Attorney Michal Tadjer from the Worker’s Hotline demanded to immediately stop forcing employees to download and use the app in order to enter Israel, the removal of all information gathered through the app, and allowing workers to fill out the form verbally or by hand.
The organizations' appeal (Hebrew)