World Cup 2022: These mandatory apps in Qatar that will track or even take control of each visitor’s phone

A computer security specialist warns of the two mandatory apps for any traveler to Qatar during the World Cup.

“It’s not my job to give travel advice but if I personally had to go to Qatar for the World Cup, I wouldn’t take my phone with me.”

√ėyvind Vasaasen is formal. Head of security at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), a public media company owned by the Norwegian government, this computer security specialist is calling for vigilance regarding two mobile applications required to enter Qatar during the next World Cup. World (November 20-December 18).

Vasaasen has indeed taken an in-depth look at Ehteraz and Hayya, two applications that all visitors to the World Cup will be required to download upon entering Qatar. One is a Covid-19 tracking application, the other allows you to save your tickets for matches or even take advantage of the free metro in the country.

Delete or change all phone content

But behind these uses, it is the compulsory access to the telephone that worries the specialist. Thus, Ehteraz can read, delete or modify all content on the phone, as well as access to connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, replace other applications and prevent the phone from going into sleep mode.

The application could also precisely geolocate the phone, make direct calls and disable the screen lock.

As for the other application, Hayya, it is less intrusive, although it does ask to share personal information with almost no restrictions. Here too, the application makes it possible to geolocate the phone, to prevent it from going to sleep while allowing the phone’s network connections.

The specialized site, says it has contacted the Qatari authorities on the reality of the obligation to download these applications. They did not respond.

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