COVID-19: Data Protection Implications of the Pandemic

COVID-19: A "Compendium" of DPEXNetwork resource on DP Implications of the Pandemic

27 Apr, 2020

As of 20th April 2020, the pandemic situation seems to be getting worse and Singapore announced an extension of the movement restriction ruling or Circuit Breaker up to 4 June 2020. In fact, the movement restriction and contact tracing have just intensified due to the concern of several unlinked cases, indicating a "hidden reservoir" of cases. The additional restrictions include limiting the number of people going to specific popular markets, and this entails verifying IC numbers (the policy is that odd numbers, and even numbers can access these markets only on alternate days respectively). With these measures, there would be more questions regarding the use of personal data.

DPEX Network is doing its part to clarify with a host of information; from webinars, review, articles that address the principles on which operational and day-to-day decisions are to be based. These include:

1. Articles from Data Protection experts both from a practical and legal perspective which gives the view from principles and purpose of the adjustments in guidelines and operational practices. In times of a pandemic like this, health and safety of the Community are of paramount importance. Still, the Community and organisations have to be mindful of the principles so that we know the basis of any temporal change and so that the whole Community understands what would be an acceptable practice under "normal condition". View the articles here.

2. A recently held webinar on COVID-19 and its impact on Data Privacy. Giving their perspective from principles and various jurisdictions are data protection experts from across the region:

  • Lyn Boxall (FIP, CIPP/E, CIPP/A, CIPM, GRCP, GRCA), Lyn Boxall LLC,
  • William Hioe (FIP, CIPP/E, CIPP/A, CIPM, CIPT, GRCP), Head, Regional Consultancy, Straits Interactive
  • Jon Bello (FIP, CIPP/E, CIPM), Chair, KnowledgeNet, IAPP
  • Dr Prapanpong Khumon, Associate Dean at School of Law, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce,
  • Dr Sonny Zulhuda, Civil Law Department, Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, the International Islamic University Malaysia

Hosted by:

  • Kevin Shepherdson, (FIP, CIPP/E, CIPP/A, CIPM, CIPT, GRCP), CEO, Straits Interactive

The content of their presentation is found here. Do sign on as a member to access the presentation information.

3. A review of Singapore's contact tracing app TraceTogether was shared with the participants. The analysis (by Lyn Boxall and Kevin Shepherdson) which is accessible if you are a DPEX Network member, can be found here:


4. There are data protection tips for organisations put together in a user-friendly video, found here:

5. The Data Protection courses will continue online with case discussion drawn on the latest development data collection amidst the COVID-19 situation. News and discussion is also facilitated by DPEX Network web-page forum for members to discuss and exchange learning:

These and many more activities are part of DPEX Network's continual support to the data protection community to learn and network. For optimal benefit, do sign on as a member for participation in courses, future webinars and discussions with fellow-DP professionals.

Article by Leong Wai Chong GRCP

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