UK: Govt. planned Covid-19 tracking app must satisfy human rights & data laws, lawyers urge

Author: Owen Bowcott, The Guardian, Published on: 6 May 2020

"Covid-19 tracking app must satisfy human rights and data laws", 3 May 2020

The government’s plan to exit lockdown through a tracking app will need detailed justification to satisfy human rights and data protection laws, a report has warned.

centralised system for contact tracing, which it is thought the government may well choose, would result in “significantly greater interference with users’ privacy and require greater justification”, the report – given as a legal opinion – concludes...

On Sunday it was announced that trials of a contact-tracing app would start in the Isle of Wight this week...

Sharing data held by healthcare organisations and private companies to assist in combating the Covid-19 pandemic may create “a number of legal problems…”, the legal opinion says.

“Given the nature of the data likely to be shared, the government will need to undertake a data protection impact assessment (DPIA)...” it adds. “The results of that DPIA should be made public. Those steps may be in progress, but we are not aware of them having been completed thus far.”

On plans for immunity certificates, the report adds: “Such a step would engage a number of fundamental rights under [human rights] and EU/UK legislation concerning the right to privacy and protection of personal data...

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