COVID-19

On June 1, Elliot Golding and other industry experts will co-present on the ABA Webinar: Got Data?: How the Health Data Rules are Changing. The program, organized by the American Bar Association (ABA) will address recent and upcoming developments impacting health data including, CMS and ONC final rules on information blocking and interoperability, HIPPA and

In considering methods to relax the COVID-19 lockdown measures and revive the economy, while at the same time containing the spread of the virus, the EU and national EU governments have been actively pursuing the development and use of contact tracing apps.

To be effective, any contact tracing app would require the majority of the population to use it. Of course, there are reservations about the overall benefit of such an app as a means of responding to the COVID-19 crisis (among others because it may lead to false positives or negatives, the technology may be unable to distinguish between people in crowded places, as well as because of the possible abuse of the data).
Continue Reading EU and National Guidance and Approaches to Contact Tracing Apps

Consulting helpAs businesses in the UK begin to re-open, as the lockdown lifts, they must ensure that they have effective measures in place to combat the spread of the virus within their workplace. This may include physical measures, such as the use of personal protective equipment and restructuring the office or site to enable social distancing. It may also include measures such as the use of temperature testing or thermal imaging cameras, rolling out a ‘track and trace’ app to employees or testing employees for the virus, all of which raise data privacy issues, as they involve the processing of ‘personal data’, which is governed by strict data protection laws.
Continue Reading COVID-19: Key Privacy Concerns Raised by the UK’s “Back-to-Work” COVID-19 Safety Measures

United States Capitol

On April 30, 2020, four Republican Senators[1],including the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, announced that they intend to introduce federal privacy legislation to regulate the collection and use of personal information in connection with the Coronavirus pandemic.  According to the Senators’ press release, the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act (the “Act”) would:

[1] US Sens. John Thune (R-S.D), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).


Continue Reading Senate to Introduce “COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act”

The use of data is a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19. In some cases, this will necessarily involve the use of personal data, which relates to identified individuals and of course, due to the nature of the current crisis, sensitive health data. The UK data protection regulator, the ICO, has made it clear that data protection laws do not seek to prevent the use of data in order to combat the spread of this dreadful disease, but are intended to work in the public interest and enable health and safety to be prioritised where necessary. However, there remains a need to ensure that personal data is used in a proportionate manner with due respect to privacy rights, wherever possible.
Continue Reading Data Privacy & COVID-19 in the UK: Q&A on Key Privacy Issues

On 23 April, the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) announced that, as part of its 5-pillar strategy, testing for Covid-19 has now been extended to all ‘essential workers’ in England and Scotland who exhibit symptoms. A new online portal now enables employers to refer self-isolating staff and members of their household for testing, and employees to book a test directly for themselves or any member of their household who is self-isolating due to coronavirus symptoms.
Continue Reading UK Government Rolls Out New Essential Worker Online Testing Portal

As the world struggles to deal with the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), governments are turning to technology to help “flatten the curve” and slow the rate of transmissions. Although Australia has been relatively successful in mitigating the widespread health impacts of COVID-19, the federal government has encouraged all Australians to download its COVIDSafe

On April 30, 2020, Partner, Elliot Golding will co-present a complimentary webinar,  Privacy Law, Coronavirus, and Post-Pandemic Best Practices.  The program, organized by Bloomberg Law, will address recent HIPAA changes and temporary waivers, telehealth privacy and cyber considerations, and practical tips and recommendations to manage privacy and cyber risk during these challenging times.

Additional

Computer securityThe ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and related Government guidance, requiring social distancing and individuals to work from home where possible, has resulted in many organisations rapidly having to adapt the way in which they operate.

Despite the unprecedented challenges that will need to be faced over the coming weeks, including in many cases significantly reduced resources (both in terms of staff and funds), it is important that organisations do what they can to try to maintain data security protections whilst taking the actions necessary to deal with this crisis. This may include the need to send unusual and sometimes urgent communications to individuals, which can increase the risk of breaching data protection laws.
Continue Reading A Timely Reminder: Maintain Data Security in the Face of the Pandemic