Coronavirus: EU Commission publishes guidance to ensure full data protection standards of apps fighting the pandemic

The Commission has published guidance on the development of new apps that support the fight against coronavirus in relation to data protection.

The development of such apps and their take up by citizens can have a significant impact on the treatment of the virus and can play an important role in the strategy to lift containment measures, complementing other measures like increased testing capacities.

It is therefore important to ensure that EU citizens can fully trust such innovative digital solutions and can embrace them without fear. Especially when it comes to tracing apps, the largest possible participation is necessary to exploit their full potential to trace infection chains and rapidly stop the virus from spreading further.

EU rules, notably the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive, provide the strongest safeguards of trustworthiness (i.e. voluntary approach, data minimisation, time limitation) for such apps to operate widely and accurately.

The guidance aims to offer the necessary framework to guarantee that citizens have sufficient protection of their personal data and limitation of intrusiveness while using such apps.

It is accompanying an EU toolbox on contact tracing apps. Both follow the recent publication of the Commission Recommendation on a common EU approach for the use of mobile applications and mobile data to support the gradual lifting of confinement measures.

Full guidance here

Johannes Bahrke –