Christopher W. Savage of Davis Wright Tremaine writes:
“Privacy, Unmasked” is a multi-part series that explores the impact of COVID-19 on individual privacy rights and privacy and security regulation and enforcement. New blogs will be posted in this space on Tuesdays.
States and cities around the country, hopeful that the worst of COVID-19 will soon pass, are discussing reopening businesses, public spaces, and schools. While privacy issues may not be the first thing that comes to mind in considering restarting the economy, reopening businesses raises some privacy-related concerns we should think through in advance, as best we can.
A business that wants to reopen will naturally be concerned that workers, visitors, and customers can return without endangering anybody’s health. Common sense would seem to suggest a business can do that if it knows who has already had the disease, and so can be safely let back in. From this perspective, while asking people about their medical history would normally be seen as an invasion of privacy, that invasion would seem to be justified if it lets economic activity restart while keeping everyone safe.
Read more on Privacy & Security Law Blog.