COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

Below, access a collection of privacy news, resources, guidance and tools covering the COVID-19 global outbreak.

Featured Resources

Contact-tracing updates from the US

FCW reports the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration constructed an internal contact-tracing program using Salesforce software paired with cross-agency data sharing. "It was a very light lift with our medical community to do a contact tracing app that was specifically for our organization with very little customization," NASA Chief Data Officer and Associate Chief Information Officer Ron Thompson said. The office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., announced New York and New Jersey ha... Read More

The Privacy Advisor Podcast: Are COVID-19 apps doing privacy well?

There's no shortage of tech companies and apps aiming to help thwart the spread of COVID-19, in addition to government efforts. But with so many different apps being deployed and so much sensitive data being swept up, is this one of those moments in time that we're putting safety ahead of privacy in ways that can't be undone? In this episode of The Privacy Advisor Podcast, the Future of Privacy Forum's Polly Sanderson and International Digital Accountability Council's Quentin Palfrey discuss wit... Read More

Google, Apple outline privacy considerations for Exposure Notification System

The COVID-19 pandemic has seared contact tracing into our collective consciousness, but it doesn't mean the concept is anywhere near new. Noted Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Nicole Wong recently during an online event: Contact tracing was used to identify the original Typhoid Mary in 1907, as well as helping to quell outbreaks of smallpox, SARS and Ebola. As COVID-19 continues to spread, entities around the world hope to use technological advancements to take contact tracing to the next... Read More

GDPR enforcement amid COVID-19: Will DPAs be 'strong' enough?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected both EU data protection authorities and the organizations they oversee, finding themselves in uncharted territory. DPAs have been left to choose how they'll go about handling their enforcement work in an unparalleled time of hardship and technological uptake for companies — all while the pressure's on for critics who say DPA's enforcement of the EU General Data Protection Regulation has been weak to date. Where DPAs stand on enforcement DPAs from France, Germ... Read More

Privacy in pandemic like ‘fixing a plane while flying’

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a “triage emergency situation,” said California Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and the privacy implications of data use, contact tracing, surveillance and other response measures is “sort of like fixing the plane while you are flying it. “We were told that in order to open up states, you have to have massive testing, easy testing, contact tracing, followed by quarantine or isolation,” Wiener said during a recent panel discussion hosted by The Bar ... Read More

Privacy in the Wake of COVID-19: Remote Work, Employee Health Monitoring and Data Sharing
(IAPP, May 2020)
Despite economic downturn, privacy jobs seem to be (mostly) safe
(IAPP, May 2020)
Manual contact tracers and privacy: Building trust is a local effort
(IAPP, June 2020)
Defining a ‘new normal’ for data privacy in the wake of COVID-19
(IAPP, June 2020)
Infographic: IAPP Resources for COVID-19
(IAPP, April 2020)
DPA Guidance on COVID-19
(IAPP, March 2020)
OSHA revises guidance on tracking COVID-19 in the workplace
(IAPP, June 2020)
Vendor seeks to balance workplace safety, employee privacy during COVID-19 pandemic
(IAPP, June 2020)
With COVID-19, privacy is more central than ever before
(IAPP, May 2020)
Infographic: COVID-19 Testing and Health Monitoring
(IAPP, April 2020)
Deja vu? The politics of privacy legislation during COVID-19
(IAPP, May 2020)
Privacy questions for COVID-19 testing and health monitoring
(IAPP, May 2020)
Contact tracing apps: Why tech solutionism and privacy by design are not enough
(IAPP, May 2020)
2020 and data protection: Not only COVID-19
(IAPP, May 2020)
The pandemic and the evolution of health care privacy
(IAPP, May 2020)
Geolocation and other personal data used in the fight against COVID-19
(IAPP, May 2020)
Virtual justice and privacy: What does COVID-19 mean for due process?
(IAPP, May 2020)
Striking the right balance: Government contact tracing powers and the right to privacy
(IAPP, May 2020)
Sharing COVID-19 data with government authorities: Guidance from DPAs
(IAPP, April 2020)
Checklist: Expedited Vendor Privacy and Security Assessment
(IAPP, April 2020)
Here are the contact tracing apps being deployed around the world
(IAPP, April 2020)
Aggregated data provides a false sense of security
(IAPP, April 2020)
Centralized vs. decentralized: EU’s contact tracing privacy conundrum
(IAPP, April 2020)
How to employ privacy by design in the fight against COVID-19
(IAPP, April 2020)
How to comply with data localization regulations amid COVID-19’s impact
(IAPP, April 2020)
Shift to online learning ignites student privacy concerns
(IAPP, April 2020)
The privacy issues for EU, UK and US employers during COVID-19
(IAPP, April 2020)
COVtech in India: Privacy considerations amid COVID-19
(IAPP, April 2020)
Web Conference: Streamlining Challenging Aspects of Consumer Rights Requests during COVID-19
(IAPP, May 2020)
How is COVID-19 affecting privacy programs? A call for research action
(IAPP, April 2020)
LinkedIn Live: Caitlin Fennessy discusses COVID-19 Privacy Challenges
(IAPP, April 2020)
The Privacy Advisor Podcast: What happens to data privacy in a pandemic?
(IAPP, March 2020)
Web Conference: Saving Direct Marketing in the Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery
(IAPP, April 2020)
Web Conference: COVID-19 Privacy and Security Issues: An Expert Discussion
(IAPP, March 2020)
The Privacy Advisor Podcast: Should we give up our data to help the herd?
(IAPP, April 2020)
Pandemic incites concerns about data-sharing overreach
(IAPP, March 2020)
On balancing personal privacy with public interest
(IAPP, March 2020)
COVID-19 response and data protection law in the EU and US
(IAPP, March 2020)
View More Resources

Artificial Intelligence

AI camera detects COVID-19 fever

An Austin, Texas-based company’s artificial intelligence camera can detect those who may have a COVID-19-related fever, Fast Company reports. Athena Security’s camera system uses an AI model to view a subject’s inner eye, which can reflect body temperature. The thermal camera records an image of those with a fever. Athena CEO Lisa Falzone said the technology will be seen more in places like airports and hospitals where access depends on an individual’s temperature.Full Story... Read More

Facial recognition to monitor pedestrians at Texas border crossing

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin using biometric facial-comparison technology to monitor pedestrians traveling through the Brownsville, Texas, border crossing, Government Technology reports. The technology will photograph each pedestrian traveler entering the U.S. and compare that image to passport and ID photos stored in government records. Privacy advocates argue the program violates travelers’ privacy rights, adding CBP is not following an opt-out policy for U.S. citizens.Full St... Read More

CCPA

California attorney general's office: No delay on CCPA enforcement amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many things in life to a screeching halt. For many organizations, the outbreak has meant shuttering, limiting or digitalizing most, if not all, operations. Those types of transitions and subsequent hardships have led some in the privacy space to question whether it's right for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to go forward with California Consumer Privacy Act enforcement July 1. A coalition of 35 advertising groups sent the attorney general a letter M... Read More

Ad groups call for delay of CCPA enforcement in wake of COVID-19

MediaPost reports the Association of National Advertisers, Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Association of Advertising Agencies and 32 other groups want the California attorney general to delay enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. “Now is not the time to threaten business leaders with premature CCPA enforcement lawsuits,” the groups write. Meanwhile, DLA Piper has published its take on the third version of the California Consumer Privac... Read More

Cybersecurity

COVID-19 Data Privacy & Security Survey

This guide from Baker McKenzie is designed to assist employers' assessments of certain data processing they may consider in light of COVID-19 and whether they are compliant with data privacy regulation. Read More

Education and Virtual Learning

FIPPA and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

This document, published by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Colombia, provides guidance for educators in choosing online learning tools in compliance with British Colombia's Freedom of Information on Protection of Privacy Act. Read More

View More Resources

Employee Health Monitoring

Infographic: COVID-19 Testing and Health Monitoring

The IAPP created an infographic outlining the privacy-related questions surrounding COVID-19 testing and health monitoring. As economies reopen, the scope and scale of health data collection, use and sharing will only increase. Employers and businesses are conducting testing, temperature checks and health screenings. This data collection raises novel privacy issues because of its scale, the non-traditional methods and reasons for its collection, and the benefits and risks to sharing the data w... Read More

Privacy in the Wake of COVID-19: Remote Work, Employee Health Monitoring and Data Sharing

The IAPP and EY launched a research initiative to gain more insight into the unique ways privacy and data protection practices have been affected by the pandemic. The initial phase of the project included a survey of privacy professionals, taking a deeper look at how organizations, in general, and privacy programs, in particular, are handling the privacy and data protection issues that have emerged alongside COVID-19, such as privacy and security issues related to working from home, monitoring the health of employees, and sharing data with governments, researchers and public health authorities. Read More

OSHA revises guidance on tracking COVID-19 in the workplace

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration revised guidelines May 19 that require employers to determine whether employees who have contracted COVID-19 did so in the workplace.  According to OSHA's recordkeeping requirements, employers are required to conduct investigations about the cause of an employee's infection with certain parameters. In the revised guidelines, which went into effect May 26, "employers should be taking action to determine whether employee COVID-19 illnesses ar... Read More

PwC develops facial recognition tool for employee monitoring

Global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers created a facial recognition tool to help financial institutions track employees as they work from home, Personnel Today reports. The software taps into employees' webcams to capture face images and detects when employees are not in front of their screens during work hours. PwC said the technology aims to help traders abide by regulations "in the least intrusive, pragmatic way." Meanwhile, Amazon plans to deploy artificial intelligence tracking syste... Read More

Privacy questions to ask when testing, monitoring for COVID-19

Diagnostic and antibody testing for COVID-19 is increasing significantly as governments and health authorities look for data to inform decisions about how to safely end lockdowns and restart economies. While public health and safety concerns are paramount, there are numerous privacy questions worth asking when testing and health monitoring for COVID-19. IAPP Legal Research Fellow Cathy Cosgrove explores some of those issues and questions in this piece for The Privacy Advisor.Full Story Infograp... Read More

GDPR

Is it necessary to suspend GDPR in the fight against COVID-19?

Over the last few months, we have seen organizations impose various obligations on their employees, visitors and customers to combat the spread of COVID-19. The underlying measures first began with completed health questionnaires, moved to requiring temperature checks of people entering buildings, along with the installation of thermal cameras at office entrances, and now there are regular blood tests for employees whose presence is essential for business continuity. How did the Hungarian gover... Read More

Hungary halts some GDPR rights amid COVID-19

Euractiv reports the Hungarian government intends to suspend certain rights and protections provided by the EU General Data Protection Regulation until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. Under the new measures, citizens will see a pause on their right to data access and erasure, while any legal actions pertaining to alleged GDPR violations will also be delayed. Opposition politician Bernadett Szél plans to challenge the suspension of rights in the Constitutional Court of Hungary, claiming that "res... Read More

Government Data Collection

Privacy in the Wake of COVID-19: Remote Work, Employee Health Monitoring and Data Sharing

The IAPP and EY launched a research initiative to gain more insight into the unique ways privacy and data protection practices have been affected by the pandemic. The initial phase of the project included a survey of privacy professionals, taking a deeper look at how organizations, in general, and privacy programs, in particular, are handling the privacy and data protection issues that have emerged alongside COVID-19, such as privacy and security issues related to working from home, monitoring the health of employees, and sharing data with governments, researchers and public health authorities. Read More

Striking the right balance: Government contact tracing powers and the right to privacy

A first-of-its-kind judicial decision sets out the rules for lawful tracking in an epidemic outbreak situation. The Israeli Supreme Court strikes a balance between COVID-19-related contact tracing technology and the right to privacy in a landmark decision about the government’s limits of power and the rights to privacy and dignity. The Israeli government enforces the isolation of confirmed patients and people who came in close contact with them in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19... Read More

Sharing COVID-19 data with government authorities: Guidance from DPAs

There are several reasons public health authorities may seek to collect COVID-19 data from private companies, including hospitals and health care providers. One of the top reasons is to track the spread of the virus and monitor the emergence of new clusters of infections so resources can be directed to areas most in need. Another reason is to send information to people who may have come into contact with someone who was diagnosed with or is suspected to have COVID-19. Given this reality, let's ... Read More

A timely resource: Updated guide to US government data sharing

Now, perhaps more than ever before, it is critical to understand how governments around the world protect the personal information they exchange with each other. In their just-released third edition of "The Guide to U.S. Government Practice on Global Sharing of Personal Information," Onfido Director of Privacy Neal Cohen, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, and Northrop Grumman Corporation John Kropf, CIPP/E, CIPP/G, CIPP/US, help us do just that. Cohen and Kropf’s guide walks readers through existing accords tha... Read More

Fauci: US may consider COVID-19 immunity certificates

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said the U.S. government may consider issuing certificates to those who are immune to COVID-19, Politico reports. Fauci added the proposal would depend on the deployment of antibody tests. “It’s one of those things that we talk about when we want to make sure that we know who the vulnerable people are and not,” Fauci said. “This is something that’s being discussed. I think it might actually have some merit, under certai... Read More

Health Care

Secure health care messaging in the era of COVID-19

Business and health care data are the new “honeypot,” an attractive and lucrative source of revenue to the modern hacker. A report from IBM in July 2020 reported that the average cost of a health care breach was $7.13 million per breach, noting “compromised employee accounts were the most expensive root cause, and that 80% of these incidents resulted in the exposure of customers' personally identifiable information.”  The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how unprepared many health care providers w... Read More

Health policy professionals expect HIPAA changes post-COVID-19

The Wall Street Journal reports on potential efforts to amend or replace the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the wake of COVID-19-related health privacy dilemmas. Health policy professionals expect questions around HIPAA's scope and coverage to be more frequent, which will lead to a legislative remedy from U.S. Congress. HIPAA "worked fairly well" when it was written, said Gonzaga University Assistant Professor of Law Mason Marks. "But today, in the Information Age, we nee... Read More

FBI investigating breach of COVID-19 patients’ data

A data breach that may have compromised the identity of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in South Dakota is under investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Star Tribune reports. In a letter to those who may have been affected, South Dakota Fusion Center Director Paul Niedringhaus said the center built an online portal using Netsential.com, which added labels to files that may have allowed a third party to identify patients. People’s names, addresses and virus status may have b... Read More

Linking COVID-19 vaccinations, biometric identifiers could lead to privacy issues

Bloomberg reports on the privacy implications of linking biometric information to a COVID-19 vaccination. In order to track who has received the vaccine, a program could be set up to link a biometric identifier to their health record, which can be used to prove they have been inoculated. European Digital Rights Policy and Campaigns Adviser Ella Jakubowska said if such initiatives were to be rushed out, privacy measures could be left by the wayside and the information could be used for mass surve... Read More

The pandemic and the evolution of health care privacy

When I teach privacy law, I try to make the issues real for the students. It often isn’t that hard — privacy issues remain in the news almost every day. The evolution of the pandemic has made more of these issues real and is leading to a series of critical questions for the future of health care privacy. These issues are not new, but the focus of the attention on pandemic issues has made the need for discussion and resolution of these issues even more critical. We are seeing four distinct categ... Read More

HHS News & Guidance

HHS relaxes privacy requirements for COVID-19 community testing sites

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is relaxing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy and security requirements for COVID-19 community-based testing sites to make it easier to collect patient data, Nextgov reports. The HHS Office for Civil Rights said in a notice other health care providers still have to fully comply with HIPAA. Meanwhile, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information published guidance on data processing during th... Read More

HHS Guidance: HIPAA, Civil Rights, and COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published this guidance page providing announcements, guidance, notifications and bulletins on civil rights laws and the HIPAA Privacy Rule during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read More

HHS notice on telehealth penalties raises privacy concerns

The U.S. government just eased the path for doctors and nurses to do video chats with patients by lifting privacy and security compliance penalties and enforcement action against health care providers. The Office for Civil Rights at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday said it will allow health care providers to use technology, such as Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat or other video platforms, to communicate with patients. But, while federal response to the COVID... Read More

HHS announces HIPAA penalties waiver amidst COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a limited waiver protecting health care providers from Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act penalties during the COVID-19 outbreak. The waiver absolves providers of certain HIPAA responsibilities, including being required to honor facility directory opt-outs and issue privacy notices. Patient rights to request confidential communications and privacy restrictions have also been temporarily revoked under the waiver.Full Sto... Read More

HHS: Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency

This notification, published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, announces that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency, effective immediately. Read More

Cookie Guidance from Greece

On 25 February 2020, the Hellenic Data Protection Authority published guidance on the use of cookies (and similar technologies). The guidance reiterates the rules around consent and provides examples of cookies which fall into the consent exemptions. Read More

International

DPA guidance on COVID-19

The IAPP has rounded up all COVID-19 guidance published by DPAs to date. The guidance linked below provides information and frequently asked questions pertaining to data processing and COVID-19. Read More

Observatory in Spain processing data to manage COVID-19

In the Spanish region of Catalonia, the government created a public-private health observatory where epidemiological, mobile and environmental data is processed to manage COVID-19, ZDNet reports. The data is anonymized and gathered from public databases and mobile operators. Those involved said the tools developed by the observatory can be used by epidemiologists in pandemic response. “We need models on how epidemics evolve, and data is crucial in adjusting these models,” Computer Science Profes... Read More

Dutch DPA calls for law to regulate use of COVID-19 app

The Dutch data protection authority, Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens, says COVID-19 app CoronaMelder insufficiently guarantees user privacy, and a law should be introduced to properly regulate its use. The AP, which raised concerns about the app's software following the Google Apple Exposure Notification framework, advised the government not to use the app until concerns are addressed. It says a law should authorize the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport to process data and should also contain pr... Read More

Israel introduces new contact-tracing bill
(IAPP,  June 2020)
Study: Singapore contact tracing app rated best on privacy
(IAPP, May 2020)
Turn contact tracing apps on by default — Europeans shouldn’t need to opt in
(IAPP, May 2020)
French Council of State bans COVID-19 monitoring by drone
(IAPP, May 2020)
The Impact of COVID-19 on Data Protection in Brazil
(Mayer Brown, March 2020)
Dubai International Financial Centre: Insights into the imperative for data protection legislation
(Dubai International Financial Centre, March 2020)
Hungary halts some GDPR rights amid COVID-19
(IAPP, May 2020)
A look at the Peruvian government’s measures to track COVID-19
(IAPP, May 2020)
COVID-19 Australia: How to address the privacy and cyber risk facing your organisation
(Clyde & Co, March 2020)
Coronavirus Pandemic in the EU – Fundamental rights implications
(European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, March 2020)
How to comply with data localization regulations amid COVID-19’s impact
(IAPP, April 2020)
COVtech in India: Privacy considerations amid COVID-19
(IAPP, April 2020)
EU member states develop COVID-19 app toolbox
(IAPP, April 2020)
Brazilian Senate postpones its national data protection law
(IAPP, April 2020)
Report: WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19
(World Health Organization-China’s Join Mission, March 2020)
COVID-19 Guidance by data protection authorities
(Hogan Lovells, March 2020)
Spanish DPA Report: ‘Data Processing Activities in Relation to COVID-19’
(AEPD, March 2020)
EDPS: COVID-19 a ‘game changer’
(IAPP, March 2020)
Philippines NPC issues privacy reminder during COVID-19 outbreak
(IAPP, March 2020)
GPA issues statement on data protection during COVID-19 pandemic
(IAPP, March 2020)
EDPB issues statement on COVID-19
(IAPP, March 2020)
View More Resources

Legal requirements

COVID-19 response and data protection law in the EU and US

Managing the COVID-19 outbreak and stopping its spread is now a global challenge. In addition to the significant health and medical responses underway around the world, governments and public health officials are focused on how to monitor, understand and prevent the spread of the virus. Data protection and privacy laws, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation and various U.S. laws, are informing these responses. One major response to limiting the spread of infection is contact traci... Read More

Legislation

US lawmakers propose bipartisan contact tracing bill

U.S. Senate lawmakers proposed a bipartisan bill to regulate contact tracing apps, The Washington Post reports. The Exposure Notification Privacy Act would ensure those who do not want to use the apps are not tracked and prohibit any data that is collected by the apps to be used for commercial purposes. “The important thing we wanted to get done, as people started to look at this, is make sure the privacy protections are in place,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.Full Story... Read More

Deja vu? The politics of privacy legislation during COVID-19

While the COVID-19 outbreak has brought about numerous changes to our daily lives, it has not brought U.S. Congress any closer to bridging the partisan divide over the shape and scope of federal privacy legislation. Although both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have introduced privacy legislation related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in recent weeks, lawmakers from either side of the aisle remain at odds over at least two key provisions: a private right of action and preemption of state... Read More

Public Health Emergency Privacy Act

After Senate Republicans proposed the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act April 30, Democrats from the Senate and House of Representatives offered their response Thursday, May 14, with the introduction of the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act. The Democrats' bill aims to provide safeguards for health data during the pandemic and regulate the use of that data with contact tracing technologies. Read More

Location Tracking

Manual contact tracers and privacy: Building trust is a local effort

As states ramp up manual COVID-19 contact tracing across the United States, a rapidly growing corps of citizen data collectors are discovering why data privacy rules matter. More than 100,000 contact tracers could be needed in the U.S. alone, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a national contact-tracing plan developed by John Hopkins University and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. These tens of thousands of new data collectors ... Read More

Scotland launches contact-tracing app

Scotland launched a nationwide COVID-19 contact-tracing application called Protect Scotland, ZDNet reports. The app, which runs in a phone’s background, uses Bluetooth signals to identify smartphone users who were in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus and may be at risk of contracting it. Officials said the app cannot be used to track a user’s location or reveal identities of close contacts of those who test positive.Full Story... Read More

Illusions of consent and COVID-19-tracking apps

COVID-19-tracking apps help identify parties with whom a COVID-19-infected person had contact. The apps do so by drawing on information about the location of a person’s mobile phone and its proximity to other devices. Experts, including the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University, view this technology as a necessary boost to manual contact tracing by public health officials. Countries are currently split into those where the government requires the use of these apps and tho... Read More

Protecting privacy on COVID-19 surveillance apps

Right now, there are signs that the curve of new COVID-19 cases in the United States is reaching a plateau, if not yet declining. We also have at least rough agreement among public health experts about the nation’s necessary next steps. The need is for a dramatic expansion of testing, a ramping up of the ranks of public health workers to trace contacts, and interoperable digital platforms that permit real-time analysis of COVID-19 outbreaks. As part of this effort, there is a frequently envisio... Read More

Contact-tracing apps: A new world for data privacy
(Norton Rose Fulbright, March 2020)
Telecommunications data and COVID-19: A primer
(Privacy International, March 2020)
Privacy considerations when contact tracing
(Simply Privacy, March 2020)
Contact tracing apps: Why tech solutionism and privacy by design are not enough
(IAPP, May 2020)
Geolocation and other personal data used in the fight against COVID-19
(IAPP, May 2020)
Here are the contact tracing apps being deployed around the world
(IAPP, April 2020)
Centralized vs. decentralized: EU’s contact tracing privacy conundrum
(IAPP, April 2020)
Google, Apple prepping release of COVID-19 contact tracing app
(IAPP, April 2020)
Guidelines 04/2020 on the use of location data and contact tracing tools in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak
(EDPB, April 2020)
French government asks Apple to remove tech limitations for its COVID-19 app
(IAPP, April 2020)
White House task force seeks national COVID-19 surveillance system
(IAPP, April 2020)
Facebook launches COVID-19 tracking map for US counties
(IAPP, April 2020)
Apple, Google debut COVID-19 contact tracing technology
(IAPP, April 2020)
ICO lists privacy considerations for COVID-19 tracking tech
(IAPP, April 2020)
Federal, provincial officials consider COVID-19 contract tracing methods
(IAPP, April 2020)
Senate holds ‘paper hearing’ on tracking consumers to fight pandemic
(IAPP, April 2020)
Privacy advocates emphasize safeguards in potential COVID-19 tracking
(IAPP, March 2020)
Privacy concerns stirred over potential COVID-19 tracking
(IAPP, March 2020)
A Closer Look at Location Data: Privacy and Pandemics
(Future of Privacy Forum, March 2020)
Trudeau: Canada will not use location data to track COVID-19 for now
(IAPP, March 2020)
US government exploring location data tracking for COVID-19
(Name, Date)
German, Austrian telecoms disclose location data for COVID-19 tracking
(IAPP, March 2020)
Israel plans COVID-19 tracking through phone data
(IAPP, March 2020)
View More Resources

Personal Data Protection

Privacy concerns raised over police access to COVID-19 database

The Windsor Police Service’s access to the provincial COVID-19 database is raising privacy concerns, CBC News reports. Police searched the database 1,841 times from April 17 to July 20 to communicate COVID-19 status information to first responders. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association released a list of Ontario agencies that used the database, which includes names, addresses and birthdates of those who tested positive for the virus, calling it “alarming.” Windsor Police ranked 10th on that l... Read More

2020 and data protection: Not only COVID-19

It is only May, but 2020 is already shaping up to be a crucial year for data protection. At least in Europe where the data protection authorities’ enforcement engine is starting to warm up. In Italy, for example, the Italian DPA, the Garante, started the year by handing down some very important fines. Beginning with provisions no. 231 and no. 232 issued Dec. 11, 2019, and published Jan. 17, 2020, against one of the global leading oil companies and with provision no. 7 issued Jan. 15, 2020, again... Read More

How function creep may cripple app-based contact tracing

The U.S. is in the throes of a pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, COVID-19. Realizing that long-term lockdowns are not sustainable, governments are seeking alternative methods of controlling the pandemic. “Testing and tracing” has been touted as a way to reopen economies with the pandemic still raging. While testing has its own set of privacy challenges, the methods discussed to accomplish contact tracing are rife with problems. In simple terms, contact tracing involves determining who ha... Read More

FBI warns of COVID-19 testing scams

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is urging awareness around scams offering fake COVID-19 antibody tests, which they say could be used to steal personal information, CNN reports. Scammers are attempting to offer fake or unproven antibody tests to obtain Social Security numbers or health insurance information, the FBI warns. Meanwhile, the amount of time data accumulated from the U.K.’s Test and Trace program will be retained has been reduced from 20 years to eight years.Full Story... Read More

Privacy Programs

Checklist: Expedited Vendor Privacy and Security Assessment

As companies, educational institutions, governments and other organizations shift to remote work environments during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for technologies to facilitate engagement has exploded. In this checklist are key questions for privacy professionals to consider as they navigate this process. Read More

ICO publishes data protection steps for businesses as COVID-19 measures ease

The U.K. Information Commissioner's Office has published six data protection steps businesses can follow as lockdown measures begin to ease during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ICO recommends businesses only collect information as needed, to be transparent about what data they gather from staff and to keep all data secure. The agency also answers questions on its pandemic regulatory approach and COVID-19 testing.Full Story... Read More

How to employ privacy by design in the fight against COVID-19

As COVID-19 is rapidly spreading around the world, public health authorities are eagerly searching for effective measures to flatten the curve and decrease the rate of contamination. Among others, many governments are using or considering using surveillance technology to track the movements of people infected by COVID-19 and notify those who may have been exposed to the virus. Naturally, the use of such measures on a wide scale raises serious privacy concerns. In Israel, for example, there is a ... Read More

Workplace Privacy & Remote Workforce

Privacy in the Wake of COVID-19: Remote Work, Employee Health Monitoring and Data Sharing

The IAPP and EY launched a research initiative to gain more insight into the unique ways privacy and data protection practices have been affected by the pandemic. The initial phase of the project included a survey of privacy professionals, taking a deeper look at how organizations, in general, and privacy programs, in particular, are handling the privacy and data protection issues that have emerged alongside COVID-19, such as privacy and security issues related to working from home, monitoring the health of employees, and sharing data with governments, researchers and public health authorities. Read More

Web Conference: The New Normal: Navigating Work-from-Home Privacy and Cybersecurity Risks

Original broadcast date: May 8, 2020  Join us to gain insight into how some large multinational organizations are handling this challenging new employer/employee environment. Real-world situations will be discussed through hypothetical scenarios, challenges and priorities drawn out by experienced privacy leaders from organizations operating globally, and practical takeaways will be shared. Read More

General Resources

GPA COVID-19 Task Force creating ‘a ready toolbox’  for privacy community

Privacy has never faced a challenge of such a global nature as COVID-19, said Philippines National Privacy Commissioner and Chairman Raymund Liboro, who is leading the Global Privacy Assembly’s COVID-19 Response Task Force. With data at the forefront of pandemic response, the work of data protection and privacy authorities is needed more than ever. Liboro tells IAPP Staff Writer Jennifer Bryant about the task force’s efforts to create “a ready toolbox” those professionals can turn to.Full Story ... Read More

GPA COVID-19 Response Task Force aims to protect data subjects 'now more than ever'

While the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated using data to analyze and map its origins and spread, Philippines National Privacy Commissioner and Chairman Raymund Liboro said “our data subjects need us now more than ever.” During the pandemic, data privacy professionals play an important role in protecting data, fostering privacy rights, and earning and maintaining the trust of those they serve, Liboro recently told fellow privacy commissioners, privacy officers in the corporate sector and membe... Read More

Google, Apple outline privacy considerations for Exposure Notification System

The COVID-19 pandemic has seared contact tracing into our collective consciousness, but it doesn't mean the concept is anywhere near new. Noted Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Nicole Wong recently during an online event: Contact tracing was used to identify the original Typhoid Mary in 1907, as well as helping to quell outbreaks of smallpox, SARS and Ebola. As COVID-19 continues to spread, entities around the world hope to use technological advancements to take contact tracing to the next... Read More

With COVID-19, privacy is more central than ever before

Last year, with the shockwaves of the Cambridge Analytica scandal still echoing, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fining Facebook $5 billion, and the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office announcing its intention to fine British Airways and Marriott hundreds of millions of pounds, we thought privacy had reached its zenith. California privacy advocates were stirring Washington, D.C., into legislative action, Brazil and India competing to put in place comprehensive privacy laws, 500,000 organiza... Read More

Defining a 'new normal' for data privacy in the wake of COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to roil economies and confine people to the solitude of their homes, much of the public discourse regarding the pandemic is focused on defining the “new normal.” Will wearing masks become an indefinite feature of public gathering? How long will the handshake remain social taboo? Some of the behavioral norms and social expectations we take with us will be innocent, unconscious footnotes to the compendium of our moment. Others will require long overdue deliberati... Read More