Contact tracing apps have been identified as a potentially important part of the response to COVID-19 and are now being developed in many jurisdictions, through both public and private initiatives. For example, Singapore has already deployed a contact tracing app and Alberta Health Services is using a similar app, tweaked for their use. Likewise, it has been widely reported that Apple and Google are working together to develop a contact tracing app and the media has covered contact tracing apps in Canada as well (for instance, here, here, here and here). As Dr. Bonny Henry (BC’s chief medical officer) recently joked: “Everybody and their dog has an app out right now”.
Dentons Data in Conversation is brought to you by the Firm’s Transformative Technologies and Data Strategy group. In the past weeks, we have seen unprecedented public health measures taken by countries and governments, forcing companies to conform quickly and embrace new ways of doing business. In a series of podcasts, we will give timely updates on the digital and privacy implications surrounding COVID-19, and the implications for businesses that are adopting transformative technologies to keep the workforce moving.
If you require any assistance regarding specific legal issues, please reach out to a member of Dentons’ Transformative Technology and Data Strategy group, Dentons’ Cybersecurity and Privacy group, or other legal counsel.
British Columbia has temporarily modified its Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c.165 (“FIPPA“) to lift a requirement that personal information handled by public sector agencies, and service providers to those public sector agencies, be kept in Canada.
Under the Order, made on March 26, 2020, “health care bodies”, the Province and certain provincial health-related authorities and ministries may now disclose personal information inside or outside of Canada in accordance with s. 33.2(a) and (c) of FIPPA on the condition that the disclosure is necessary:
a. for the purposes of communicating with individuals respecting COVID-19,