Israel, like the rest of the world, is having to adapt quickly to a new and challenging reality in the age of COVID-19. The measures that have been in force until now, and which were increased on Saturday night, are stringent – some would say draconian – and they are likely to be stepped up in the coming days.In his televised address to the nation on Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the immediate enactment of additional restrictions, and said that Israel will use counterterrorism technologies to track coronavirus carriers. “We are at war with an enemy – the coronavirus, an invisible enemy,” Netanyahu said.It now seems that to fight this invisible enemy, the government has approved the use of covert, invisible means.While acknowledging that this is an infringement on personal privacy, the prime minister said that he had been given the green light by the Justice Ministry to use intelligence tracking tools to digitally monitor coronavirus patients without their permission.By using these means, Netanyahu said, “we will be able to see who they were with, what happened before and after [they were infected], and we will be able to isolate the coronavirus and not the entire country.”“We are one of the few countries with this capability, and we will use it,” he said. “We must do everything, as a government and as citizens, to not become infected and not to infect others.”It was later clarified that these tools would not be used for enforcement or monitoring of isolation guidelines, but it is not clear exactly what these tools are, who will have access to them, for how long, and so on. Hence, the measures raise a large number of ethical questions and dilemmas.As The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday, the new steps immediately raised concerns regarding privacy and human right issues.In response to the decision to use counterterrorism tools, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, stressed, “We are in a state of emergency, but that does not mean the State of Israel can be turned into a surveillance state. Gathering data and publishing warnings is one thing, but it also important to preserve the right to privacy of Israeli citizens and [for the government to] use only proportionate tools. We are neither Vietnam nor Singapore, and about this we should be proud.”Israel – which generally relies on carrying on as usual and social cohesion in emergency situations – is adapting very quickly to the regulations, closing all education frameworks, places of entertainment, restaurants and gyms, and people are working from home whenever possible (for those who still have jobs). Doubtless, citizens will also get used to the idea of the new surveillance systems – particularly as they are not overt and visible. We are all now used to having closed-circuit cameras in most public places, and trust that these will be used to prevent and solve crimes. Furthermore, anyone connected to the Internet and social media knows that today there is no such thing as personal privacy. We already have no idea which organizations, government or corporate, have access to our moves.Nonetheless, we must make sure that these new measures do not cross a redline. The use of artificial intelligence, facial recognition and digital tracking is a mixed blessing. These means can prevent the spread of the disease and save lives, but they can also be used to monitor who meets with whom, as well as when and where, in cases that are not related to public health issues. The technology is hidden from our eyes, but there must be transparency regarding the data collected: Who is collecting it, who is storing it, who is accessing it and for how long?True, we are in an emergency situation – a war, as Netanyahu correctly declared – but even emergencies require oversight and ultimately come to an end. It must be ensured that these emergency measures, too, will end when the coronavirus crisis is over.