International Responses to Privacy Issues in Public Health

On 15 April 2020, I participated in a worldwide teleconference alongside over 200 fellow commissioners and experts. Hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Data Governance and Privacy and the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA), the "Online Workshop on Addressing the Data Governance and Privacy Challenges in the Fight against COVID-19" provided an opportunity for regulators, government officials, academics, and private industry to discuss the successes and lesson learned from varied responses around the world.

Harnessing data remains a key strategy to track and contain the progress of COVID-19, particularly the personal data collected from medical testing to determine who is infected and contact tracing to see with whom those individuals have come into contact.

Rejecting the notion that there must be a privacy sacrifice to accomplish the public health goals of such data collection and processing, the workshop focused on how to successfully achieve both ends through methods such as voluntary participation, data minimization, redactio