Israeli firm NSO develops Coronavirus tracing software

Israeli firm NSO has developed a new software product for tracking the history of movement Coronavirus patients. The data analysis tool works by checking a patient’s SIM card against other SIM cards that may have been close to them within a two week period. The tool uses mobile network operator data to trace people who came into contact with the patient. It can also produce maps on spread of the disease. Bloomberg reports that about a dozen countries are already testing the product. 

NSO produces surveillance software that is sold directly to governments. Privacy advocates have raised concern about its spyware pegasus which has been linked to surveillance of human rights activists and journalists. The Coronavirus tracing product however is classified as civilian software and can be sold directly to health ministries. It will also require consent of the patients before SIM data analysis.