Federal government warns about apps – will soccer fans at Qatar World Cup be spied on? – News


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It requires two applications to enter the country and get to the stadiums. These are heavily criticized.

Violations of human rights, homophobia, espionage – the emirate of Qatar is making many unpleasant headlines ahead of the World Cup. A bit more harmless, but also debatable, is the warning that football fans can be eavesdropped via an app on their smartphone. Various websites are already pointing this out.

Access to virtually all data

It’s like giving the Qataris the keys to the house. In a report on Norwegian public television, for example, experts evaluated the conditions that must be met for participation in the World Cup games.

To get to the stadiums, you need two special apps on your smartphone. They are called “Ehteraz” and “Hayya to Qatar 2022”. According to data protection experts, this allows access to almost all data stored on a mobile phone.

Federal employees have been advised not to bring their personal smartphones to Qatar.

The “Ehteraz” app is the Qatari version of the Corona warning app in Germany, writes the “Netzwelt” web portal. This time, it not only has full access to the smartphone’s memory, but the application can also track the location of its users in real time and store Bluetooth or WLAN connections in a central database.

The federal government also responded. He emailed a referral to his employees traveling to Qatar. In response to the request, the Federal Chancellery informed in writing: “Therefore, as a precautionary measure, it was decided to block these two applications on business mobile phones.” This was decided based on media reports, the reply says. “Federal employees have also been advised not to bring their personal smartphones to Qatar.”

Do fans have to buy a new smartphone?

The catch is that apps are a prerequisite for entering stadiums and using public transport. So if you want to watch the World Cup in Qatar in the stadiums, you are probably well advised to buy a new smartphone, install the necessary applications on it and otherwise save as little data as possible.

A simple solution has been found for Swiss footballers, the Swiss Football Association informed in writing upon request. “We have also looked into this issue. Now we have a simple and good solution: our delegation does not need to download these apps, because entry and exit to the stadium are arranged differently for our delegation – i.e. employees, officials and players.”

It all reminds me of the Olympics in China. At that time, sports associations offered to lend Swiss athletes spare mobile phones to protect them from possible espionage.

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