Currently, Iran has a very high rate of people exposed to coronavirus infection COVID-19, but the government seems to be taking advantage of this situation.
The government of Iran launched a mobile app called AC19, which supposedly helps to diagnose the new coronavirus, but at the same time, it tracks the user's location in real time. Moreover, a pop-up window asking for permission to transfer geodata is displayed in English, and about 40% of users do not see this message at all, because they use Android devices with the older version of the operating system.
The creator of the AC19 application is Sarzamin Housmand (formerly Smart Land Solutions), which is also known for developing messengers similar to Telegram but targeted at tracking users.
It is difficult to say how effective the program is, but the fact is that it can collect a considerable amount of user data, including names, addresses, dates of birth, and phone numbers.
For now, it is unknown how many people downloaded the AC19 application. We can see the scale of the problem on the risk map published by the ICT minister MJ Azari Jahromi. It indicates the location of 2.3 million Iranian citizens.
There are concerns that Iran is intentionally underestimating data on the spread of the coronavirus infection in its territory along with mortality rates to imitate the semblance of control. Moreover, the app helps the authorities suppress the opposition.