Israel enlists NSO Group to build real-time infection risk scoring system


The Israeli defense minister, Naftali Bennett, has published a plan under which civilian companies including the  controversial company NSO Group would cooperate with the defence establishment to fight the novel coronavirus after a sharp rise in reported cases indicated that existing methods of contact tracing and geolocation were no longer effective at tracing all the people a patient might have infected. Under Bennett's proposal, the collaborators would build a system into which the health ministry, the Shin Bet security service would enter all the data they have about COVID-19 patients and use it to assign Israeli residents with scores indicating how likely they are to be infected. The system would be constantly updated in real time. The system is ready to go, pending legal approval and privacy controls. If allowed to analyse data from mobile operators, NSO Group is able to retrieve data going back 14 days, and determine who a patient had contact with for more than 15 minutes.


Writer: Refaella Goichman

Publication: Haaretz