A damning new report out this weekend suggests that Boris Johnson ‘s government is seeking to capitalise on the Coronavirus. Forbes.com reports that government officials have sent numerous requests to mobile phone operators requesting bulk access to mobile roaming data.

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Forbes notes that it remains unclear as to why the U.K government is asking the country’s four biggest mobile operators for access to phone data. Germany, for example, managed to repatriate its tourists from around the world without actually violating their civil liberties by accessing their otherwise protected cell phone data.

People familiar with the matter told the website that the government reportedly claims it will help them bring back stranded Brits from various territories — but critics worry that data could be vacuumed up and abused.

It’s worth noting that phone data is generally protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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