On 15 April 2020, the OECD, with the support of the Global Privacy Assembly, ran an online workshop with the theme: Addressing the Data Governance and Privacy Challenges in the Fight against COVID-19. The objective was to discuss emerging trends and early lessons learned on:

  • How best to address data protection and privacy challenges in front-line responses to COVID-19;
  • How to facilitate data access and sharing between organisations including within the public sector and across jurisdictions to ensure that all relevant stakeholders have the information needed, while minimising potential risks to stakeholders; and
  • How to better inform and engage all stakeholders to build and reinforce data sharing partnerships and trust across society.

View the workshop’s agenda.

The event brought together internationally renowned speakers, experts in their respective fields, to debate these important issues, with more than 260 high-level international representatives attending. Active in implementing data protection and privacy approaches as part of the global COVID-19 pandemic response, these participants included GPA member authorities, data protection and privacy experts, representatives of civil society stakeholders, government, and technologists leading the charge on development of apps to address the crisis.

The debate used two OECD policy briefs and a recent GPA Executive Committee statement on the COVID-19 crisis as a backdrop to provide focus for the debate. Further materials for participants were produced by the OECD, and headlines from the workshop were also produced for GPA members. For more details about these, GPA members can contact the GPA Secretariat at secretariat@globalprivacyassembly.org

OECD policy briefs

Information on contact tracing apps arising from the event:

  • Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) [EN]. The source code of one implementation of PEPP-PT is available here.
  • TraceTogether App, developed by the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health [EN]
  • Information on Israel App HaMagen that is open source [EN]
  • Explanation of the DP-3T app [EN]
  • Funded by the Korean government: the Self-quarantine Safety App [EN]
  • Apple/Google Contact Tracing App [EN]

Additional resources are available on our Covid-19 resources library.

On 16 September 2020, the OECD and Global Privacy Assembly held the second virtual workshop The road to recovery: Lessons learned and challenges ahead; Addressing the data protection and privacy challenges raised by COVID-19.

Now that the initial shock of the COVID-19 crisis has eased, many countries around the world are looking for solutions to carefully restart their economies and enable citizens to move, travel and interact with each other safely and securely. But the virus still presents a very real threat to public health and in many countries the infection rates continue to increase.

To assist in containment and recovery efforts, countries are continuing to investigate the utility of digital technologies and data sharing arrangements, including those that can track the spread of the virus and assist research efforts to develop a vaccine. Data protection authorities, the private sector, academia and civil society have been playing important roles in working with governments and policymakers to ensure that these innovative solutions adopt best practices when it comes to data governance, data protection and privacy.

This highly successful virtual OECD/GPA COVID-19 Workshop provided the opportunity to share lessons learned to date as countries enter different stages of their respective COVID-19 journeys. Held as a follow-up to the first event in April 2020, it was a forum for governments, data protection authorities, academics and other stakeholders to discuss how these lessons can prepare us for future data protection and privacy challenges that arise in the road to recovery.

View the workshop’s agenda.