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Greetings from Portsmouth, New Hampshire!

It’s hard to think about anything else besides COVID-19. In addition to getting used to social distancing, another challenge has been trying to limit my intake of the news. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting my head in the sand, but one of the many skills I am trying to harness is the ability to know when to turn off the TV or put away my phone. There’s only so much you can take in before it becomes too much.

The pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. It has certainly made its way into privacy. In addition to calls for delaying enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act, concerns have arisen over whether cellphone location data may be used by the government as a method to track the spread of the disease.
Could that become a reality in the U.S.? My answer to that is similar to every other question surrounding this pandemic: I have no idea. There are so many unknowns in this situation. We don’t know how long it will last and what course it will take. Should the situation continue to grow dire, will more citizens be open to the government having access to their location data and thus sacrificing their privacy to curb the spread of COVID-19? Will they have a choice? We’ll see what happens.

All we can do is continue to practice social distancing as the days go on. Here at the IAPP, we are doing our part to help privacy professionals navigate this situation. In our Resource Center, you will find a page devoted to COVID-19 guidance and news stories. Balancing public health with patient privacy may prove to be a challenge, so it helps to have anything needed to navigate these uncharted waters.

Lastly, as we continue to stay separated from one another, make sure you continue to reach out to your friends and family. You can be as introverted as humanly possible, but we still need contact with our fellow humans to stay sane. A quick check-in will help make someone’s world feel a little less small than it has currently become.

Stay safe.


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