Armenian Parliament votes down bill on use of cell phone data to track COVID-19 patient contacts

The Armenian National Assembly voted down a government-proposed package that would give the authorities access to citizen’s cell phone data to track the contacts of coronavirus patients.

The bill failed to receive the necessary 67 votes. Members of the ruling My Step faction had registered to vote, but some were absent from the parliament hall.

Independent MP Arman Babajanyan was among the supporters of the bill.

The amendments envisaged restrictions to the right to the privacy of communication under the state of emergency.

Under the state of emergency caused by an epidemic, the operators of the public electronic communications networks would be obliged to provide information on customer location and phone calls to the authorities and state-established legal entities (data processors).

Data processing was expected to be carried out only until the end of the state of emergency. The authorizes had assured any data would be destroyed at least within a month after the end of emergency.

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