EDPS comments on the Commission draft implementing decision amending Implementing Decision 2019/1765 as regards the cross-border exchange of data between national contact tracing and warning mobile applications with regard to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
As new technologies emerge and are integrated into our lives (internet of things, for instance) new uses of personal data evolve. Together with growth in computing and detection capabilities, in the field of biometrics for instance, these evolutions raise legitimate concerns about the protection of privacy and personal data.
Joint paper of the Spanish data protection authority, Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD), and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on 14 misunderstandings with regard to biometric identification and authentication.
The use of biometric data for identification and authentication purposes is not new but has greatly increased in recent years. Along with its growing popularity, unfortunately, some misconceptions about the technologies involved have become widespread.
The objective of this document is to raise awareness about some misunderstandings about biometric technologies, and to motivate its readers to check assertions about the technology, rather than accepting them without verification.
In this edition of the EDPS Newsletter we cover the EDPS consultation on transfers of personal data, the virtual visit at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the new TechDispatch on contact tracing and mobile apps, the 47th DPO virtual meeting among other topics.
In public health, contact tracing is the process to identify individuals who have been in contact with infected persons. Proximity tracing with smartphone applications and sensors could support contact tracing. It involves processing of sensitive personal data.
What is Contact Tracing?
During epidemics of infectious diseases, such as the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it is important to lower the number of new infection cases and to stop it eventually. Therefore the infection chain of onward transmissions must be interrupted. When those persons known to be infected reveal their recent contacts, other infected persons may be identified, informed and e.g. isolated already early on, even before they become aware of their infection. The process to identify contacts of known cases is called contact tracing.
A person becomes a contact of a primary case by e.g. face-to-face contact within a short distance over some time span, physical contact or spending time indoors together–all within the incubation period of e.g. up to 2 weeks for the coronavirus disease.
To establish the risk exposure in contact tracing, information about the distance between the persons and the duration of contact are important. Close contacts with high-risk exposure may then become subject to different rules or treatments.
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The EDPS-Civil society summit is an annual meeting between the EDPS and civil society organisations organized to discuss the state of data protection and privacy in the EU.
The 2020 edition will focus on a number of issues relating facial recognition, biometric surveillance technologies and its effects on activists
in the EU.
The Summit is part of Privacy Camp 2020.
You can follow the event on our Twitter account and participate in the conversation using the hashtag #PrivacyCamp20.