Coronavirus and personal data

April 2020


Your personal information may not be your first thought when it comes to Coronavirus, but if you’re worried, we’ve put together some information to help:

• Government, the NHS and other organisations will make sure you get vital public health messages via phone, email or text. You don’t need to give them your consent.
• You might be asked to give details about sensitive health conditions and recent travel that you think are excessive. Employers and organisations do have an obligation to protect their staff, so in some cases it can be reasonable for them to ask you if you’ve visited a particular country or if you have experienced Coronavirus symptoms. But they shouldn’t be asking for more information than is necessary, and if you are concerned speak to the organisation involved.
• If you become ill with Coronavirus, your employer might need to tell your colleagues. But that doesn’t mean they need to give out your name.
• If you’ve made a Freedom of Information request from a public body or made a subject access request (SAR) for your own information, you should expect delays in response. That’s because organisations are diverting their resources to help with other challenges.

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