COVID-19

The effect of COVID-19 on data privacy

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, entirely new ways of interacting are rapidly impacting business operations. Addressing cyber threats, privacy and security concerns has been overtaken by the need to address operational continuity, therefore gaps in protection have become opportunities for hackers, who are ready to exploit, as evidenced in recent attacks on a popular video conferencing platform. The solution is strengthening defences through awareness, assessment, mitigation and judicious collaboration.

Data is of great value to businesses and even greater to hackers. Governments across the world are resorting to gaining, storing and using personal data of individuals in order to temporarily prevent and control the pandemic, through solutions such as Bluetrace and ArogyaSetu applications. Such apps store and use personal data of individuals to track their location and manage health data in order to trace the location of the active/potential cases.

It is essential for users to both be aware and understand how this data is stored, protected and ethically used in the future, as a potential hack would not only cause reputational risk but also violate rights of individuals who have provided sensitive and personal information to governments and businesses alike.

We address some specific questions which we have recently received from clients and the wider community.