Information Commissioner's Office
Data protection and coronavirus
We all share the same concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The need for public bodies and health practitioners to be able to communicate directly with people when dealing with this type of health emergency has never been greater.
Data protection and electronic communication laws do not stop Government, the NHS or any other health professionals from sending public health messages to people, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing. Nor does it stop them using the latest technology to facilitate safe and speedy consultations and diagnoses. Public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.
The ICO is a reasonable and pragmatic regulator, one that does not operate in isolation from matters of serious public concern. Regarding compliance with data protection, we will take into account the compelling public interest in the current health emergency.
The safety and security of the public remains our primary concern. The ICO and our colleagues in the public sector have this at the forefront of our minds at this time. We are here to help our colleagues on the frontline. We can offer advice to make sure the law around data protection and direct marketing is clear. Information is available on our website or you can call our helpline on 0303 123 1113.
Latest News from
Information Commissioner's Office
Statement in response to media enquiries about the Data Protection Impact Assessment for the NHSX’s trial of contact tracing app11/05/2020 09:15:00
An ICO spokesperson said: “We are reviewing the Data Protection Impact Assessment for NHSX’s pilot of its contact tracing app in the Isle of Wight.”
Blog: Information Commissioner sets out new priorities for UK data protection during COVID-19 and beyond06/05/2020 09:10:00
Blog posted by: Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, 05 May 2020.
COVID-19 contact tracing: data protection expectations on app development05/05/2020 09:10:00
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham and Executive Director of Technology and Innovation Simon McDougall appeared before the Human Rights Joint Committee yesterday (4 May 2020).
Statement in response to details about an NHSX contact tracing app to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic27/04/2020 09:10:00
Statement given recently (24 April 2020) in response to details about an NHSX contact tracing app to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blog: Combatting COVID-19 through data: some considerations for privacy20/04/2020 09:10:00
Blog posted by: Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, 17 April 2020.
Blog: Video conferencing: what to watch out for17/04/2020 09:10:00
The COVID-19 crisis is changing the way we live our lives. Keeping our distance means many of us are working from home for the first time and adapting to new ways of doing our jobs.
How we will regulate during coronavirus16/04/2020 09:10:00
The ICO yesterday published a document setting out our regulatory approach during the coronavirus pandemic.
ICO statement on investigating coronavirus scams09/04/2020 09:10:00
ICO are supporting businesses eager to stay in touch with customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Winner of the ICO’s Practitioner Award for Excellence in Data Protection 2020 announced07/04/2020 12:25:00
Recognising the increasingly vital role played by data protection professionals, the third ICO Practitioner Award for Excellence in Data Protection is awarded to Barry Moult, Information Governance and Privacy Consultant, and former Head of Information Governance at an NHS Trust.