COVID-19 Round-up

COVID-19 privacy news (w/e 1st May)

Here are the latest stories on how the COVID-19 outbreak has affected privacy:

24th April:

  • The EDPB adopts three letters, strengthening areas from previous data protection guidance issued in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • TechCrunch reports Apple and Google update joint coronavirus tracing app technology to improve user privacy and developer flexibility, first release available 28th April.
  • Privacy International outlines its concern about governments using location tracking to stem the flow of new COVID-19 cases. 
  • Hogan Lovells updates its summary of European data protection authorities COVID-19 guidance.
  • Open Rights Group asks for explanation over how NHS app will work.
  • Infosecurity Magazine reveals Forrester analysts predict increase in information and data sharing to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

26th April:

  • Reuters reports that Germany has switched to Apple-Google approach on smartphone contact tracing app.
  • The Guardian reveals privacy campaigners warning against coercing public over contact-tracing app.

27th April:

  • EDPS Wojciech Wiewiórowski discussed data protection amid COVID-19 in remarks to the Committee for European Affairs of the Senate of the Republic of France.
  • BBCNews reports how the NHS has rejected the contact tracing app technology developed by Apple and Google.
  • IAPP publish a blog about how aggregated data can provide a false sense of security.
  • Infosecurity Magazine reports how the UK has embraced new suspicious email reporting service.
  • Digital Health reveals NHSX has set up an ethics advisory board to oversee contact-tracing.

28th April:

  • Council of Europe Committee of Convention 108 Chair Alessandra Pierucci and Data Protection Commissioner Jean-Philippe Walter release joint statement on COVID-19 contact tracing.
  • Open Rights Group highlights how NHS contact-tracing app may suffer basic usability issues.
  • IAPP publish article about how to employ privacy by design in the fight against COVID-19.

29th April:

  • The Register reports 175 UK academics demand answers from NHS over its contact-tracing app plans which they call a ticking data-timebomb.
  • HSJ Healthcare reveals GCHQ to be granted access to NHS data during pandemic.
  • Reuters reports that Amazon is preparing to deploy thermal cameras in its workplaces but will not put employees' privacy at risk.
  • Reuters reports that Twitter will provide researchers and developers access to real-time tweet data about COVID-19.

30th April:

  • EDPS Wojciech Wiewiórowski published a blog reflecting on recent events and shining a light toward the path for the future.
  • Infosecurity Magazine reports two-thirds of global companies have experienced network security disruption due to sudden shift to home working.


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