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Technology, data, privacy, and the fight against disease

Reconciling health and privacy needs.


Anna Buchta

Head of Unit Policy and Consultation, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS),

LIVESTREAM on 22 april @ 16:00 CEST

Ask questions during the event through sli.do using #trace.

A number of countries/economies that appear to have enjoyed initial success in combating COVID-19 (including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore) implemented forms of contact tracing that entailed cross-correlating multiple data sources, and contact tracing is a part of most European plans for emerging from the COVID-19 lockdown. Contact tracing could potentially benefit from the combined use of some mix of health data, mobile telephone data, credit card data, and transportation data, and some of this has already been done by the Asian countries named.

Many Europeans would be uncomfortable with the use of similar practices here, even if they were shown to save lives. The use of personally identifiable information is governed by strict rules in Europe, notably the GDPR, which would typically require that the user provides informed consent in advance. How is informed consent to be obtained for data matching across multiple services in distinct business sectors? Are there ways to simultaneously address public health needs in an optimal fashion, while also fully meeting privacy objectives? How should policymakers approach these issues?

This event is online only.

You will be able to access the livestream on this page, TwitterYoutube, and Facebook without any registration.

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