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Quebec Human Rights Commission Voices Concerns Over COVID-19 Tracing Apps

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During a provincial legislative committee hearing on Thursday, the Quebec Human Rights Commission voiced its concerns over COVID-19 contact tracing apps, noting that employers could be tempted to force their employees to use these apps (via Montreal Gazette).

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“There is a real risk of coercion being used on employees to install such apps,” warned Commission president Philippe-André Tessier, while adding that anyone who elects to use them should do so having given their informed consent.

Tessier continued that any attempt to force the apps’ use would be a compromise of rights and freedoms. If such an app is deployed, the provincial government must ensure that its use is voluntary, he said.

Diane Poitras, head of Quebec’s Access to Information Commission, has said an investigation is already under way concerning reports that some employers who had developed their own apps were demanding employees use them.

Before the committee met on Thursday, Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois told reporters concerns over the use of tracing apps are growing.

The Commission said the government has to fill in the legal void surrounding the use of such apps with legislation or a decree.

Last month the federal government launched a COVID Alert app that collects no personal information, does not have a geolocating feature and functions through a Bluetooth connection.

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