Late in April, Moscow primary schoolteacher Elena Timofeeva called a doctor after she developed a fever and struggled to breathe. The doctor ordered her to remain at home for two weeks and had her sign papers in which she agreed to use a city-run app that monitors suspected coronavirus patients.

Weeks later, after Timofeeva recovered, she discovered that the app had fined her 56,000 roubles — two-thirds of the average monthly wage in the Russian capital — without her knowledge, for 14 different alleged quarantine violations, even though she had only left the house once for a doctor-mandated CT lung scan.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now