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News Releases

Information and Privacy Commissioners from across Canada establish principles to be applied in consideration of contact notification and tracing apps

May 7, 2020

Information and Privacy Commissioners from across Canada have developed and issued a joint statement today regarding COVID-19 and contact tracing. The statement contains a series of principles that decision-makers should consider when deciding whether to launch a contact notification or tracing app. The principles are outlined under the following headings:

  • Consent and trust
  • Legal authority
  • Necessity and Proportionality
  • Purpose limitation
  • De-identification
  • Time-Limitation
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Safeguards

The Commissioner recognized that COVID-19 has created unique circumstances and there are serious public health risks but privacy legislation continues to be in force and must be factored in when making decisions regarding the utilization of new tools in controlling the spread. With a careful consideration of contact notification and tracing apps, it is possible to protect public health and personal privacy at the same time.

“I hope this statement of principle will help decision-makers work through the complex issues of balancing protection of public health and privacy”, Kruzeniski said.

The Commissioner also encourages any public body that is considering the adoption of such tools in Saskatchewan to consult with his office as soon as possible to help ensure that balance is met.

The full joint statement can be viewed here: https://oipc.sk.ca/assets/FPT-joint-statement-on-contact-tracing.pdf

Media contact:
Kim Mignon-Stark: Kmignon-stark@oipc.sk.ca

Kara Philip: kphilip@oipc.sk.ca

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