Pandemic Privacy: A Preliminary Analysis of Collection Technologies, Data Collection Laws, and Legislative Reform During COVID-19   [open pdf - 6MB]

From the Executive Summary: "In, 'Pandemic Privacy: A preliminary analysis of collection technologies, data collection laws, and legislative reform during COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019],' we undertake a preliminary comparative analysis of how different information technologies were mobilized in response to COVID-19 to collect data, the extent to which Canadian health or privacy or emergencies laws impeded the response to COVID-19, and ultimately, the potential consequences of reforming data protection or privacy laws to enable more expansive data collection, use, or disclosure of personal information in future health emergencies. [...] After a short introduction in Section one, we present the methodologies we used in Section two. Section three turns to how contemporary digital technologies were used to collect data in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. Our principal finding is that collection efforts were constrained by the ways in which private companies chose to enable data collection, particularly in the case of contact tracing and exposure notifications, and by how these companies choose to share data that was under their control and how data was repurposed for assisting in containing COVID-19. The breadth and extent of data collection was unprecedented when compared to past health crises."

Report Number:
Research Report No. 144
2021 Citizen Lab. Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/].
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Citizen Lab: https://citizenlab.ca/
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