June 16, 2021

Volume XI, Number 167

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Update – ICO Issues Guidance on Data Protection and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Further to our earlier blog on the data protection aspects of responding to COVID-19, we note that the ICO have now issued guidance on the matter, answering some of the key questions for organisations, businesses and employers.

This is helpful guidance, issued under a statement aimed at public bodies and health practitioners, (so could easily be overlooked), but is very relevant to the issues and worth reading in full.

In summary, the guidance covers questions on:

  • Data protection compliance (there is an understanding that resources might be diverted from the usual compliance efforts at this time);

  • Contacting individuals (the sending of public health messages without consent);

  • Homeworking for staff (and security measures needed);

  • Telling staff that colleagues may have potentially contracted COVID-19 (you can, subject to safeguards – read on);

  • Collecting health data (you can, but read on for how best to do this); and

  • Sharing information with authorities (you can, if it is necessary).

The ICO has stated that the safety and security of the public is their primary concern, which is reassuring and sensible, whilst maintaining that data protection principles still apply.

© Copyright 2021 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 72
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About this Author

Andrea Ward Director London Squire Patton Boggs Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice GDPR UK Data Protection Act 2018.
Director

Andrea Ward serves as a director in the Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice. She has a multitude of experience advising on data protection laws and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK Data Protection Act 2018.

Andrea assists clients on data breach and reporting requirements, including liaising with the ICO. She advises on and drafts privacy documentation, including notices, policies and contracts, and provides guidance on data subject rights, such as subject access requests. Andrea is also interested in social media, employee privacy,...

44-207-655-1526
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