Hey Guys,

If you are going to the World Cup in Qatar, please be advised that you will be required to install what is essentially government spyware on your phone. Here is an excellent article from NRK titled ‘Everyone going to the World Cup must have this app – experts are now sounding the alarm’. Here are the main points:

“Everyone travelling to Qatar during the football World Cup will be asked to download two apps called Ehteraz and Hayya.

Briefly, Ehteraz is an covid-19 tracking app, while Hayya is an official World Cup app used to keep track of match tickets and to access the free Metro in Qatar.

In particular, the covid-19 app Ehteraz asks for access to several rights on your mobile., like access to read, delete or change all content on the phone, as well as access to connect to WiFi and Bluetooth, override other apps and prevent the phone from switching off to sleep mode.

The Ehteraz app, which everyone over 18 coming to Qatar must download, also gets a number of other accesses such as an overview of your exact location, the ability to make direct calls via your phone and the ability to disable your screen lock.

The Hayya app does not ask for as much, but also has a number of critical aspects. Among other things, the app asks for access to share your personal information with almost no restrictions. In addition, the Hayya app provides access to determine the phone’s exact location, prevent the device from going into sleep mode, and view the phone’s network connections.”

In a nutshell:

  • When you install these apps, you give the authorities full access to your phone, its data, and all the accounts your phone is connected to. What might be legal in your country may not be legal in Qatar.
  • If you go to the World Cup, bring a burner phone with you and only have what you need on it and nothing more.

Please share with anyone planning to attend.

All the best,

Max Roberts,
Incognito Privacy Care Team.