COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

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

Featured Resources

How can homomorphic encryption address privacy in COVID-19 apps?

The avalanche of COVID-19 applications developed to manage the pandemic has caused debates over the balance of public interest and the basic human right to privacy. COVID-19 apps, such as digital contact-tracing apps and statistical data analysis tools that help identify patterns that could lead to cures or prevention measures, have understandably led to the mixed emotion of excitement and concern. There is an excitement that experts could process the data to identify ways to curb the virus and ... Read More

US Senate hearing covers COVID-19, the need for a federal privacy law and familiar roadblocks

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing last December on what Congress should consider when crafting a federal privacy law. Nearly a year later, another hearing was held to revisit the topic, but in a world wholly unrecognizable from when the committee adjourned last year. It's an understatement to say the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered life as we knew before. Countless people are working from home, students have shifted to remote learning, and t... Read More

What's next for data privacy: What the current pandemic has revealed about data privacy

Times of emergency have a clarifying effect, and the current COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Emergencies often reveal what’s important versus what we once might have thought was important. Until this point, the steady drumbeat of privacy was for more restrictions and individual rights. This seemed natural. Many countries view privacy as a fundamental right afforded to their citizens. Yet what this crisis has revealed is that as a society, en masse, we are often willing to trade some of our pr... Read More

COVID-19, privacy, and school recordings
(IAPP, September 2020)
The Privacy Advisor Podcast: Are COVID-19 apps doing privacy well?
(IAPP, July 2020)
Google, Apple outline privacy considerations for Exposure Notification System
(IAPP, June 2020)
GDPR enforcement amid COVID-19: Will DPAs be ‘strong’ enough?
(IAPP, June 2020)
White Paper — ‘Privacy Risks to Individuals in the Wake of COVID-19’
(IAPP, May 2020)
Privacy in pandemic like ‘fixing a plane while flying’
(IAPP, June 2020)
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

Latest News and Resources

Contact-tracing updates from UK and US

Researchers at The Alan Turing Institute found the U.K. National Health Service COVID-19 contact-tracing application for England and Wales is assisting in reducing the impact of the virus, preventing between 224,000 and 914,000 new cases from October to December 2020, BankInfoSecurity reports. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security selected California-based startup AppCensus to “develop an on-demand, automated mobile-app testing system” that will gauge the privacy and security risks of COVI... Read More

COVID-19 and health care privacy updates from Europe

Denmark’s data protection authority, Datatilsynet, announced a probe into the handline of COVID-19 test results by Medicals Nordic. Datatilsynet will examine data protection practices used for the exchange of tests between staff members over WhatsApp chat. The Irish Examiner reports telecommunications company Three is supplying location data on its 2.4 million customers to help the Irish government track COVID-19-related restrictions. Ireland’s Department of Health is using the data to monito... Read More

GPA COVID-19 Response Task Force aims to protect data subjects ‘now more than ever’
(IAPP, August 2020)
Google, Apple outline privacy considerations for Exposure Notification System
(IAPP, June 2020)
Defining a ‘new normal’ for data privacy in the wake of COVID-19
(IAPP, June 2020)
Why it’s important to be mindful of digital footprints during the COVID-19 pandemic
(IAPP, May 2020)
With COVID-19, privacy is more central than ever before
(IAPP, May 2020)
Unintended and Unexpected Consequences from COVID-19 on the US Privacy Job Market
(IAPP, March 2020)
COVID-19 and Business Continuity in the EU
(Hunton Andrews Kurth, March 2020)
Making COVID-19 Apps Data Protection Compliant
(Hogan Lovells, March 2020)
Privacy & Pandemics: The Role of Mobile Apps
(Future of Privacy Forum, March 2020)
Aggregated data provides a false sense of security
(IAPP, April 2020)
European Commission guidance on COVID-19 apps
(European Commission, April 2020)
A Framework for the Government of Canada to Assess Privacy-Impactful Initiatives in Response to COVID-19
(Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, April 2020)
EDPS comments: Monitoring spread of COVID-19
(EDPS, March 2020)
Request for Assurance from Critical Vendors of Operational Preparedness to Address COVID-19 (Template)
(Troutman Sanders, April 2020)
COVID-19 Planning and Response Guidance for State CIOs
(National Association of State Chief Information Officers, April 2020)
Podcast: Responding to COVID-19 with Washington CIO Jim Weaver
(National Association of State Chief Information Officers, April 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 and CPRA

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

COVID-19, privacy, and school recordings

At the beginning of each school year, there are many papers to be signed. I agree I have (1) read the student handbook, (2) health forms, (3) appropriate use of technology at school, (4) photos of my children for promotional purposes, and so on. Then, this year out of the blue, a new consent shows up — a consent to record classes for operational purposes — and if I don’t sign it, it will significantly impact my child’s education. Wait … what?  This doesn’t sound right. What exactly are opera... Read More

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

Health Care

Vaccine credential apps raise surveillance, privacy concerns

Electronic vaccination credentials through smartphone applications could soon be used to control the COVID-19 pandemic and enable college campuses, venues and more to reopen, The New York Times reports. The technology raises concerns for civil liberties experts who say it could create an invasive surveillance system and comes with privacy risks. App developers said they have taken privacy risks into consideration and mitigated them in design. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is seeki... Read More

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

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

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

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

Colleges, employers using wearable tracking technology to fight COVID-19
(IAPP, November 2020)
Trackers detected on European Parliament’s COVID-19 test webpage
(IAPP, October 2020)
Scotland launches contact-tracing app
(IAPP, September 2020)
Illusions of consent and COVID-19-tracking apps
(IAPP, May 2020)
Protecting privacy on COVID-19 surveillance apps
(IAPP, May 2020)
CDT Report: Use of Aggregated Location Information and COVID-19
(Center for Democracy and Technology, March 2020)
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

Google and Apple’s joint COVID-19 Exposure Notifications System shows privacy is important to consumers and marketers

Over the past few months, millions received the option to receive "Exposure Notifications " through Apple or Google. The technology took off: millions of individuals downloaded applications or opted-in to exposure notifications. The Bluetooth Low Energy technology that powers the system, the privacy-by-design of the system and the increase in privacy-centric marketing demonstrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness of potential privacy harms while providing a roadmap for the rollou... Read More

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

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

Regional

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

A look at the tech measures India has used to curb the spread of COVID-19

Reuters reports on the technical measures India has implemented to track the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indian officials have called upon local companies to develop technology powered by artificial intelligence to help in these efforts. One such initiative sponsored by the federal government would use thermal cameras to track whether a person is wearing a mask. Municipal workers in northern Chandigarh were ordered earlier this year to wear GPS devices to track their efficiency, which spark... Read More

COVID-19 app launches in England, Wales

The U.K. National Health Service COVID-19 smartphone application launched in England and Wales, allowing users to trace contacts, assess risk level and record visits to establishments, Reuters reports. The app launched four months after the government said it would arrive. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the app involved extensive work with technology companies, privacy experts and others, noting it is “secure” and “simple to use.” Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Pennsylvania Department of Health... 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

COVID-19, Privacy and Data Protection in Nigeria: Matters Arising
(African Academic Network on Internet Policy, March 2020)
COVID-19 Middle East Podcast: Returning to the workplace — employment and privacy law issues
(Clyde and Co., March 2020)
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

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