The EDPB recently issued guidelines about how to use health data during the current pandemic in compliance with GDPR. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many research efforts in place to fight against the virus.  The EDPB’s guidelines shed light on the special rules for processing health data for scientific research, which apply in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic:
Continue Reading Using Health Data in Europe During COVID-19

As we move into the second quarter of 2020, governments around the country are analyzing how to best open up their economies. Part of this will include people returning to work, restaurants, retail establishments, and other places of public accommodation. Landlords, business owners, and others want to know how to take steps to reopen safely while government mitigation efforts are being developed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed. And where authorities don’t have specific mitigation efforts, instituting protocols will fall squarely on landlords, business owners, and those who operate places of public accommodation.
Continue Reading Taking Temperatures During COVID-19: A Practical Toolkit

During COVID-19, in certain areas of the law, we have seen significant flexibility from regulators and government agencies in how they are addressing typical approval processes and/or compliance requirements. In the context of privacy and cybersecurity regulations, largely, regulators are emphasizing that personal privacy and data security are important now more than ever. New information is being collected and used in new ways. Certain data security vulnerabilities may be more prevalent in this work-from-home environment.
Continue Reading Privacy and Data Protection Enactment and Enforcement Timelines During COVID-19

A number of private and government entities have released apps and software development kits (SDKs) relying on location tracking data to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. While the use of such technologies are being hotly debated, commentary continues to emerge from the EU about developing such applications in compliance with EU data protection laws.
Continue Reading Using Mobile Apps and Location Data to Combat COVID-19

HHS recently announced that it will not impose penalties if business associates disclose protected health information relating to COVID-19 during the public health emergency period. This waiver, announced in a Notification of Enforcement Discretion, applies if the disclosure is for public health and health oversight activities. It will apply, the Office for Civil Rights at HHS explained, even if their business associate agreement with covered entities does not specifically allow for such disclosure if two things hold true. First, that the disclosure or use is made in “good faith” for public health activities and health oversight activities.  Second, that the BA informs the covered entity within ten days after the use or disclosure occurs.  Examples provided by HHS include BA notifications to public health authorities, such as the CDC, health departments and CMS.
Continue Reading HHS Relaxes Restrictions on Certain PHI Disclosures During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Following its 20th plenary session on April 7, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) selected geolocation and health data to focus on in its upcoming COVID-19 guidance. This follows in response to the EDPB’s earlier broad statement on the processing of personal data in the context of COVID-19.
Continue Reading EDPB Announces Scope of COVID-19 Guidance

The FCC recently issued a declaratory ruling explaining what calls and text message alerts it viewed as “emergency” for purposes of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Under TCPA, requirements to obtain consent to make certain calls and texts to cell phone numbers do not apply when a message is an “emergency.” Under the FCC’s new ruling, certain calls and texts from government officials and healthcare providers about the COVID-19 pandemic will be viewed as emergency messages.
Continue Reading FCC Ruling Helps Clarify What COVID-19 Texts and Calls Are “Emergency” Under TCPA

As many who have been tracking CCPA are aware, the law requires training employees who handle consumer inquiries, and ensuring that employees understand how to help consumers exercise their rights. Since most of those rights requests are arriving by web page, email, and phone, it is unlikely that rights requests will slow in the face of COVID-19. Indeed, it is possible that they may increase. Employees will thus still need training, something many companies had anticipated doing in-person.

Coronavirus


Continue Reading Turn On the Camera Part Three: Fulfilling CCPA Training Obligations in the Face of COVID-19