As part of their lockdown exit strategy, governments around the world are launching Apps with contact tracing functions. The idea behind these Apps is that users will be alerted when another App user has tested positive to COVID-19, thereby enabling them to take appropriate action, such as self-isolating or undergoing testing.
It remains to be seen how effective contact tracing Apps will be in the fight against COVID-19, but it is clear that in order for the Apps to work, they need to be widely downloaded and used. The popularity, acceptance, and use of the Apps will undoubtedly depend on the extent to which the Apps enable individuals to control the collection and use of their personal data.
This briefing note considers the key data protection and privacy legal issues arising in relation to contact tracing apps.