The problem lies in the legal requirement to conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) first, which the government didn’t do, and which it has admitted it didn’t do. In the meantime, employees of the tracing program have been found putting confidential patient data on social media platforms. See this from The Times (paywall), Coronavirus contact tracers sharing patients’ data on WhatsApp and Facebook.
GOVERNMENT ADMITS TEST AND TRACE UNLAWFUL
20 JULY, 2020
The UK Government has been forced to admit they deployed the COVID-19 Test and Trace programme unlawfully without a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), following a legal challenge from privacy campaigning organisation, Open Rights Group (ORG)..The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) made its admission after ORG threatened to take the Government to court unless it agreed to immediately conduct a DPIA..The admission that the Test and Trace was deployed without a DPIA, and that there is still no DPIA in place now, means that the Government’s entire Test & Trace programme has been operating unlawfully since its launch on 28th May 2020..Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:.“The reckless behavior of this Government in ignoring a vital and legally required safety step known as the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) has endangered public health. We have a ‘world beating’ unlawful Test and Trace programme..“A crucial element in the fight against the pandemic is mutual trust between the public and the Government, which is undermined by their operating the programme without basic privacy safeguards. The Government bears responsibility for the public health consequences..“The Test and Trace Programme is central to easing the lockdown and getting the economy growing again. The ICO should have taken action but did not. We were forced to threaten Judicial Review to ensure that people’s privacy is protected..“The ICO and Parliament must ensure that Test and Trace is operating safely and lawfully. As we have already seen individual contractors sharing patient data on social media platforms, emergency remedial steps will need to be taken.”Ravi Naik, Legal Director of the new data rights agency AWO, who was instructed to act on behalf of ORG said: “The Government has made two significant concessions to our clients. Firstly, when asked to justify retaining COVID-19 data for 20 years they couldn’t do so, and agreed to reduce the period to 8 years.“Secondly, they have now admitted Test and Trace was deployed unlawfully. This is significant. It is a legal requirement to conduct an impact assessment before data processing takes place. No impact assessment has been conducted for Test and Trace. By failing to conduct the appropriate assessment, all the data that has been collected – and continues to be collected – is tainted.“These legal requirements are more than just a tick-box compliance exercise. They ensure that risks are mitigated before processing occurs, to preserve the integrity of the system. Instead, we have a rushed-out system, seemingly compromised by unsafe processing practices.The repercussions of the concessions could be widespread.”Notes to the editor
1. Pre-action letter sent by AWO on behalf of Open Rights Group to Matthew Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)
Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.
Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.