CA County Tracked Phones Of Church Members To Enforce COVID Lockdowns

  • Santa Clara County deployed a variety of surveillance techniques on congregants of a local church that met during COVID-19, including tracking phone location data and parking a car in a nearby lot to observe behavior, court documents reported by independent journalist David Zweig reveal.
  • Inspectors from the county’s COVID-19 Business Compliance Unit spent a total of 51 hours conducting stakeouts near Calvary Chapel San Jose between November 25, 2020 and January 3, 2021, observing everything from Sunday services to baptisms and prayer groups, Zweig reported.
  • Enforcement officers, who were paid $219 an hour, wrote in great detail about church activities, noting each violation of the mask mandate, social distancing policy and state-wide ban on singing.
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