The latest COVID-19 privacy news from the EU, Ireland and US

(Apr 7, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, here are the latest stories on how the outbreak has affected privacy: Facebook announced it launched new tools to help researchers track COVID-19. European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee Chair Juan Fernando López Aguilar said the use of smartphone data to monitor COVID-19 must respect privacy rules, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The Irish Data Protection Commission found health care organizations shared patient information with ... Read More

Podcast: Should we give up our data to protect the herd?

(Apr 3, 2020) Telecommunications companies across the world, including in Germany, Brazil and China, have granted their governments access to customers' cellphone data in an effort to help track COVID-19. Other countries are more cautious; the Dutch DPA called for emergency legislation before sharing occurs, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said a flat no, for now. In this episode of The Privacy Advisor Podcast, Heather Federman, CIPP/US, vice president of privacy and policy at BigID, discusses ... Read More

The Privacy Advisor Podcast: Should we give up our data to help the herd?

(Apr 3, 2020) Telecommunications companies across the world, including in Germany, Brazil and China, have granted their governments access to customers' cellphone data in an effort to help track COVID-19. In the U.S., government officials are consulting with big tech companies and public health professionals on the possibility of doing so, while authorities in the Netherlands have said emergency legislation must be enacted before sharing occur. In this episode of The Privacy Advisor Podcast, Heather Federman,... Read More

CSIS moves forward with dataset system plans

(Apr 3, 2020) The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is moving forward with a dataset system, collecting, using and maintaining databases containing citizens’ personal information, CTV News reports. Documents show the CSIS last July requested Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale approve proposed classes of datasets. Civil liberties advocates have expressed concerns that Canadians’ rights be protected, which the CSIS said enables the agency to “crunch large volumes of information and detect previously unse... Read More

The latest COVID-19 privacy developments from the Asia-Pacific region

(Apr 2, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, here are the latest stories on how the outbreak has affected privacy in the Asia-Pacific region: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand wrote in a blog post how a code under the Privacy Act triggered by a national emergency declaration gives agencies the authority to collect, use or disclose personal information for purposes related to the emergency. The Guardian reports the Chinese government’s “health code” technology service, used to moni... Read More

COVID-19 privacy updates from France, Netherlands, Poland and more

(Apr 2, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, here are the latest stories on how the outbreak has affected privacy: The Dutch data protection authority, Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens, released a statement regarding its position on using location data to track COVID-19, saying emergency legislation must be adopted to do so lawfully. (Original post is in Dutch.) The French data protection authority, the CNIL, issued guidance on telework security measures. (Original post is in French.) Poland's data prote... Read More

Wash. facial-recognition bill signed into law

(Apr 1, 2020) Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., signed a state facial-recognition bill into law, The Wall Street Journal reports. The law allows government agencies to use facial-recognition technology; however, restrictions are now put in place to ensure it is not used for broad surveillance purposes. Microsoft President Brad Smith praised the new Washington law and highlighted some of its key features in a blog post.Full Story... Read More

DOJ finds errors in FBI surveillance warrants

(Apr 1, 2020) U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of surveillance warrants saying it failed to keep records necessary to justify wiretaps, Reuters reports. Horowitz’s report cites 17 “basic and fundamental” errors and omissions in the FBI's application under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for warrants to monitor a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump.Full Story... Read More

COVID-19 privacy updates from UK, Germany, US and more

(Mar 31, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, here are the latest stories on how the outbreak has affected privacy: U.K. Information Commissioner's Office Deputy Commissioner Steve Wood released a statement regarding the ICO's stance on cellphone data tracking for COVID-19. The U.K. government outlined its use of data during the pandemic, including how it maintains confidentiality under the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Reuters reports Germany is set to launch a COVID-19 tracking app using a... Read More

Trudeau: Canada will not use location data to track COVID-19 for now

(Mar 27, 2020) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada has not considered using location data to track COVID-19; however, he did not rule out the option, CBC News reports. "I think we recognize that in an emergency situation we need to take certain steps that wouldn't be taken in non-emergency situations, but as far as I know that is not a situation we're looking at right now," Trudeau said. "But as I've said, all options are on the table to do what is necessary to keep Canadians safe in these exceptional ti... Read More