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On May 6, 2020, the Italian Supervisory Authority (“Garante”) published a list of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) and answers on data protection and COVID-19 (see here, in English).

The FAQs build on and expand guidance previously issued by the Garante (see our blog post here), and take into account recent measures adopted by Italian authorities, such as the Protocol on Fighting COVID-19 in the Workplace that the Italian government signed with several trade unions on March 14, 2020 (see our blog post here), which was slightly amended on April 24, 2020 (see here).

Among other topics, the FAQs cover: (1) data processing by private employers in the context of the COVID-19 health emergency; and (2) data processing in clinical trials and medical research in the context of the COVID-19 health emergency.
Continue Reading Italian Supervisory Authority Publishes FAQs on Data Protection and COVID-19

As we anticipated in a previous blog post, on April 22, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) issued new guidelines on the use of location data and contact tracing apps in the context of the present COVID-19 pandemic.

The EDPB’s new guidelines complement and build on similar guidance previously issued by the Board itself (see here, here and here), and by the European Commission (see our blog post here).

The EDPB’s close scrutiny over the use of mobile data and apps in the context of the ongoing public health crisis is unsurprising, as many EU Member States have launched—or are in the process of launching—contact tracing apps to fight the spread of the virus, and these initiatives are receiving great attention by data privacy authorities and the general public (see our blog post here).

The guidelines aim to clarify the data protection conditions and principles that should be followed when:

  • using location data to model the spread of the virus to assess the overall effectiveness of confinement measures; and
  • using contact tracing apps, which aim to notify individuals who may have been in close proximity to someone who is infected or confirmed as a carrier of the virus, in order to break the contamination chain as early as possible.

The EDPB stresses that EU data protection rules have been designed to be flexible and, as such, do not stand in the way of an efficient response to the pandemic.  However, it notes that governments and private actors should be mindful of a number of considerations when they use data-driven solutions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Continue Reading EDPB Issues New Guidance on the Use of Location Data and Contact Tracing in the Context of the COVID-19 Outbreak

On March 17, 2020, the Executive Committee of the Global Privacy Assembly (“GPA”) issued a statement on data protection in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GPA is an entity representing data protection and privacy regulators around the globe, formerly known as the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (“ICDPPC”).

The GPA

On March 14, 2020, the Italian Government and several trade unions have signed a protocol, which establishes specific procedures for fighting COVID-19 in the workplace.

The protocol also includes provisions on the processing of personal data of employees.  In particular, it provides that employers may subject their employees to pro-active body temperature controls before

On March 16, 2020, the Chair of the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”), Andrea Jelinek, issued a statement on the processing of personal data in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The statement made clear that EU data protection law does not stand in the way of the adoption of measures to fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.  However, it stressed that controllers (including employers), as well as governments, should be mindful of a number considerations when adopting measures to fight the pandemic that involve the processing of personal data.


Continue Reading EDPB Chair Issues Statement on Data Protection and COVID-19

 On March 12, 2020, the UK Supervisory Authority (“ICO”) issued a statement on data protection and coronavirus (“COVID-19”).  The statement makes clear that the ICO will take a “reasonable and pragmatic” approach regarding compliance with the GDPR in light of the current health emergency.

Similar to the Irish Supervisory Authority (see our previous blog here

On March 10, 2020, the Norwegian Supervisory Authority (“Datatilsynet”) issued guidance on the processing of personal data in the context of the corona virus (“COVID-19”) crisis (see here, in Norwegian).

Datatilsynet stressed that the GDPR allows the processing of special categories of data (e.g., health data) if the processing is necessary for

On March 5, 2020, the Danish Supervisory Authority (“Datatilsynet”) issued a guidance document in which it clarifies how companies should process the personal data of their employees in the context of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) crisis (see here, in Danish). This follows the publication of a similar guidance by the Italian Supervisory Authority (“Garante”) (see

On March 2, 2020, the Italian Supervisory Authority (“Garante”) published a “statement” in which it clarifies how companies should process personal data in the context of their efforts for preventing a spread of the coronavirus disease (“COVID-19”) among their employees and others in Italy (see here, in Italian).

The Garante made clear that companies