SYDNEY: About 110 human rights and civil libertarian organisations around the world have jointly called on governments to make sure they maintain human rights laws when using digital surveillance technologies to track and monitor individuals and populations in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Signatories include Amnesty International, Algorithm Watch, Australian Privacy Foundation, Digital Rights Watch, European Digital Rights and the World Wide Web Foundation.

“An increase in state digital surveillance powers, such as obtaining access to mobile phone location data, threatens privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of association, in ways that could violate rights and degrade trust in public authorities – undermining the effectiveness of any public health response,” the signatories say.