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COVID-19 crisis risks deeper European rifts on privacy

Friday, April 24, 2020

Subject

New privacy guidelines.

Significance

The EU wants contact tracing apps for tackling COVID-19 to be effective, secure and privacy-compliant. Its efforts have exposed how its existing rules on data are adapting (or not) to the extraordinary public health crisis.

Impacts

  • Fear of mass surveillance and data breaches will reduce public participation in tracer apps, casting doubts over their effectiveness.
  • The EU’s digital strategy, notably in terms of reviewing the effectiveness of GDPR, may be rethought in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • If tracer apps are not inter-operable across national borders, lifting intra-EU travel restrictions will become harder.

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