The Portuguese Human Rights League – Civitas, founded in 1921, critics and repudiates the probably legislative obligation to install the mobile application in private mobile telephones of those living in Portugal, in a working or similar, school or academic context, inserted on the Draft Law no. 62/XIV, submitted by the Government to the Assembly of the Republic.

Regardless the good intentions that might be in the origins of this proposal, its implementation and supervision may not be carried out without being implemented means one considers similar to the dictator regimes and without violating the freedom and privacy of the Portuguese people.

Being understandable the existence of certain temporary constrains to the rights and guaranties, duly framed by the Assembly of the Republic and supervised by all to fight the pandemics, the benefits and disadvantages of such measures shall be carefully ponder and discussed.

The supervisory action as well as the counter order regime of the Draft Law, to be approved, places the Security Forces in an unsustainable situation before those living in Portugal, and one foresees avoidable and unjustified conflicts increasing in number.

Although the data management of the StayawayCovidsystem is decentralized, the League considers that its code, algorithms and infrastructure are not properly supervised, especially by the Civil Society.

The Portuguese Human Rights League – Civitasstresses and recalls:

  • Article 34 of the Constitution of Portugal foresees in its no. 4 that “The public authorities are prohibited from interfering in any way with correspondence, telecommunications or other means of communication, save in the cases in which the law so provides in matters related to criminal procedure.”;
  • The Draft Law no. 1217/XIII presented by the Parliamentary Group of the Socialist Party, in May 2019, that intended to approve the Charter of Citizens’ Fundamental Rights for the Digital Age and in particular its article 6 that foresees the Right to Digital Privacy;
  • The role that the National Commission for the Protection of Data has assumed in defending of the Portuguese people rights to privacy and the League appeals to the Assembly of the Republic to take into consideration their warnings.

The Portuguese Human Rights League – Civitas reinforces that:

  • Many Portuguese do not have smartphones, due to many reasons, including the economical and the technologic illiteracy;
  • Many Portuguese do not access to internet data subscriptions or access to the Wi-Fi public network;
  • The low income that many Portuguese face; the low national minimum wage; the low Social Integration Income; and the high rate of unemployment are unavoidable obstacle to the hypothetical aims of the mobile application.

The Society efforts to prevent Covid-19 dissemination and in assuming responsible and defensive attitudes are, firstly, an exercise of citizenship. If the mobile application StayawayCovid may generate benefits to the Society, the Portuguese Human Rights League – Civitas appeals to the Government and to the Assembly of the Republic to opt for strategies that boost the use of the mobile application and not to put in force coercive measures that violate unjustifiably the rights and freedoms in a pandemic era.

Photograph: Site StayAwayCovid