Consumer Reports supports bill to strengthen privacy protections for data collected to combat coronavirus

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumer Reports announced its support for the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act introduced today in Congress.  This legislation would provide much needed privacy protections for individuals as the public health community uses tracing apps and other digital tools to fight the spread of coronavirus.  The bill was introduced this afternoon by U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Mark Warner and U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo, Jan Schakowsky, and Suzan DelBene.

Justin Brookman, Director, Consumer Privacy and Technology Policy, for Consumer Reports, said, “When it comes to tracking and collecting people’s data, we want to make sure there are basic protections for people’s privacy, and this bill is a positive step to establish the trust and balance that’s needed. The bill smartly requires that data collected to fight coronavirus can only be used for public health purposes — and nothing else. Importantly, the bill ensures an individual’s right to seek redress for violations, and it bars against the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements. These measures will help individuals trust contact-tracing and proximity-tracing programs, and they can serve as a model for more comprehensive protections down the road.”

 

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org