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Article

Telia Company shares Covid-19-related data requests received & its response as part of commitment to transparency, privacy & freedom of expression

"Freedom of expression and the right to privacy in times of COVID-19 - information on unconventional requests (March-April 2020)"

[G]overnments have turned to Telia Company and asked for assistance in the fight against the pandemic…Requests…have concerned provision of data to monitor the spread of the virus, blocking of sites with e.g. fraudulent information...Telia Company’s commitment to respect the privacy and freedom of expression of users, including being transparent about how we do that, applies also when governments make requests in relation to Covid-19.

…Telia Denmark was requested to voluntarily block a handful of sites that were taking fraudulent advantage of the pandemic. Telia Company supports and promotes the general principle that a court order is required for blocking... [D]ue to the urgency of the situation, an exception was decided upon and we blocked the sites according to the request.

… The European Commission (EC) asked operators…to provide fully anonymous and aggregated data to fight the pandemic. Telia Company’s intention is to assist in the fight against Covid-19, while ensuring highest quality and compliance with GDPR and privacy laws…emphasizing e.g. that the fully anonymous and aggregated data is provided exclusively to the EC [and] can be used by the EC solely for the purposes to fight COVID-19…