April 25, 2020 / COVID-19 / Privacy and Personal Data Protection
The National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information, and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) warned that misusing personal data gathered by health institutions to deal with COVID-19 cases is a cause for administrative and economic sanctions, according to the sector at issue.
Francisco Javier Acuña Llamas, Commission President of INAI, stated that during the health emergency, access to public information and personal data protection rights cannot be circumvented. He also emphasized that the health sector has the greatest responsibility in the management of the health crisis and that it is obligated to offer public information that provides certainty and confidence to the population.
He stated that institutions have created lists with COVID-19 patients and possible COVID-19 cases and that, while such lists may function as anonymized data to investigate the evolution of the pandemic, such lists may also be dangerous if protocols are not properly implemented for this type of situation.
In addition, Commissioner Román Vergara mentioned that the gathered personal data are deemed sensitive since such information involves the health status of individuals. Therefore, any processing of data to prevent the COVID-19 spread must ensure the safety of such individuals.
You may consult the Official INAI communication (160/20) on this link: