SIVAGANGA: With several nations, including China, Iran and Israel, having begun to implement cyber technologies to ensure that victims of COVID-19 do not violate the quarantine rules, Sivaganga Superintendent of Police Rohit Nathan Rajagopal’s proposal to the Union government to use geofencing technique to monitor quarantined persons has been acknowledged.
The proposal, which is a joint effort made by the IPS officer and his wife Kaveri Subbiah, was sent to the Home Ministry through the office of Director General of Police a few days ago, sources said. “We were discussing on how to mitigate the spread, and we came up with the idea of using geofencing, a technique used by police department,” Rohit Nathan told TNIE. The officer, a fortnight ago, demonstrated the technique before the Union government officials in New Delhi and the officials acknowledged that it is a better technique to monitor the victims.
Elaborating the technique, the SP said: “In addition to detecting a person if he/she violates the virtual boundary (in this case, a quarantine ward), the technique also helps in zeroing in on those who came into contact with the quarantined persons,” Nathan added. “By doing this, we can identify people who may have the virus and put them in quarantine,” he said.
Will it affect digital privacy?
“Laws like Sections 260 and 270 (Negligent or malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of IPC, The Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939, Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, Disaster Management Act, 2005, are in favour of taking such measures during epidemic and pandemic crisis. Hence, when the larger welfare of society is at stake, issues like individual privacy should take a back seat”, Nathan said.
Moreover, quarantined persons should give an undertaking that they would abide by the quarantine rules and it becomes the duty of the State to monitor them, Rohit Nathan added.On government’s response to the proposal, he replied, “The government is very positive about the idea and is looking into the legal aspects on how it can be taken forward.” Any decision on this would be taken only after the Centre’s nod, the IPS officer said.