Turkey’s domestic tourists’ whereabouts are set to be tracked by the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government through their cellular phones.
According to the Official Gazette, Presidential Annual Program 2020 published on Monday the country’s culture and tourism ministry will establish a “domestic tourism tracking system” through which mobile network operators will provide the state with travel information of their customers.
“A study will be carried out by using technological opportunities of telecommunication companies in order to reveal the profiles of domestic tourists and their moves,” one of the actions in the program read.
The action would be performed by taking into account the protection of privacy of personal data, the Turkish authority stated.
However, the program has drawn reactions and criticism of social media users who claim it would risk the right to privacy and lead to tagging.
In September, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP was accused of spying on opposition protesters who participated in a protest in 2017 against mass arrests in the country.
The blacklisting was allegedly realized by deploying spyware on phones of the anti-government activists.
Three German companies are reportedly under an investigation by the Munich Prosecutor’s Office over illegally supplying malware to the Turkish government.