On 8 April 2020, the European Commission adopted a recommendation on a common European Union toolbox for the use of technology and data to address the COVID-19 crisis (“Recommendation”). The Recommendation responds to calls for a common EU approach to the use of mobile apps in combatting COVID-19—one that improves the efficacy of the technology while respecting citizens’ privacy rights.
The Recommendation has since been complemented by a separate Commission guidance paper on COVID-19 apps (“Guidance”) and release of a Common EU Toolbox for Member States (“Toolbox”) by the EU’s eHealth Network, a Commission-established body comprised of Member State authorities responsible for eHealth matters. In addition, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”), which contributed to the Guidance, has published a letter to the Commission in response to the Guidance (“Letter”).
This blog will discuss the headline points contained within the Recommendation, Guidance, Toolbox, and Letter. We will publish more detailed analyses of the Toolbox and Guidance in subsequent blogs.