ICO offers guidance to organisations using data to combat coronavirus (COVID-19)

ICO offers guidance to organisations using data to combat coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a series of questions for consideration by organisations using data to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Several organisations are employing contact tracing and location tracking technologies, and the ICO is keen to ensure that privacy implications are appropriately considered. Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, held that exploration of such technologies is appropriate as they ‘could help us better understand how society is responding to isolation measures, and alert people who may have been in contact with the virus’. However, she stressed that these technologies must be used in a ‘fair and proportionate’ way.

The ICO recommends that organisations using contact tracing or location tracking technologies consider the following questions:

• have you demonstrated how privacy is built in to the processor technology?

• is the planned collection and use of personal data necessary and proportionate?

• what control do users have over their data?

• how much data needs to be gathered and processed centrally?

• when in operation, what are the governance and accountability processes in your organisation for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of data processing—to ensure it remains necessary and effective, and to ensure that the safeguards in place are still suitable?

• what happens when the processing is no longer necessary?

Source: Blog: Combatting COVID-19 through data: some considerations for privacy

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