in Qatar, visitors’ smartphones will be spied on

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As the controversies multiply around the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, new information from Politico adds a small layer. Those wishing to travel to Qatar will be required to install two applications in their smartphone.

The first, Hayya, is the official application of the World Cup in Qatar. The second, Ehteraz, is a Covid tracking app, the Qatari equivalent of Tous Anticovid. Problem: Experts believe that these two applications are spyware (spyware) in the pay of the Qatari authorities.

Thus, Hayya and Ehteraz would be able to access users’ personal data, read, delete or change content and even make direct calls without user manipulation.

The CNIL alerts the French

Following this discovery, the National Commission for Computing and Liberties (CNIL) communicated and gave some warnings to French people wishing to go to Qatar.

On its site, the Commission advises first to go to Qatar with a blank phone. Two methods are mentioned: using “an old phone reset” or, if you only have your personal smartphone, “make a backup then a reset, and restore the backup on return”.

Next, she recommends installing the two mandatory spy apps before they leave and then removing them as soon as they return. Throughout the duration of the stay, the CNIL also advises to “keep your smartphone with you at all times”. And to add:

In any event, special vigilance will be required for photos, videos, or digital works that could place you in difficulty vis-à-vis the legislation of the country visited.

Finally, the Commission strongly advises “limit online connection to services requiring authentication to what is strictly necessary”.

This new controversy comes to splash a World Cup already strongly criticized. Qatar is accused of violating the human rights of workers responsible for the construction of stadiums. These stadiums are also strongly criticized by environmentalists who point to an open-air design with air conditioning even though the environmental issues have never been so important. Qatar’s policies towards homosexual and/or LGBT people are also denounced by associations.

1.5 million visitors are expected in Qatar during this Football World Cup.

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