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News release

Privacy guardians issue joint statement on COVID-19 contact tracing applications

GATINEAU, QC, May 7, 2020 – Federal, provincial and territorial privacy guardians today issued a joint statement calling on governments to ensure that COVID-19 contact tracing applications respect key privacy principles.

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien says technology can be part of the solution to address the COVID-19 pandemic and notes that the health crisis calls for a flexible and contextual application of privacy laws.

“If done properly, tracing applications can achieve both privacy and public health goals at the same time. Everything hinges on design, and appropriate design depends on respect for certain key privacy principles, “ says Commissioner Therrien.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has also recently published an assessment framework intended to assist government institutions faced with responding to the COVID-19 crisis and guidance to help organizations subject to federal privacy laws understand their privacy-related obligations during the pandemic.


Joint Statement by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Information and Privacy Commissioners: Supporting public health, building public trust:  Privacy principles for contact tracing and similar apps

For more information:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Provincial and territorial privacy oversight offices

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