JOIC joins Global Privacy Assembly COVID-19 taskforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the use and role of data, including personal data, in analysing and mapping the origin and spread of the virus, informing governments and the private sector’s efforts in sharing data for monitoring, mitigation and response protocols, as well as policymaking. However, the pandemic has also shown that these responses come with associated privacy and data protection challenges and issues which data protection and privacy authorities will need to address.

Recognising the privacy and data protection challenges posed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) has established a GPA COVID-19 Taskforce to address the emerging privacy issues posed by the spread of the virus. The Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner (JOIC) is contributing to the taskforce whilst also learning more about specific personal data COVID-19 issues as we move towards greater mapping and data analysis.

The Global Privacy Assembly first met in 1979 as the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. The Assembly has been the premier global forum for data protection and privacy authorities for more than four decades. The Assembly seeks to provide leadership at international level in data protection and privacy. It does this by connecting the efforts of more than 130 data protection and privacy authorities from across the globe. JOIC’s participation in the GPA taskforce will bring enlightened and broader knowledge to any Jersey solutions and considerations.

Global Privacy Assembly Full Media Release 

As countries begin to ease their coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, data protection and privacy authorities across the world are faced with a fundamental question: how can we enable governments’ responses to the pandemic and subsequent recovery whilst continuing to protect citizens’ personal data and privacy? 

Recognising this challenge, the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA) has launched a COVID-19 Taskforce to drive practical responses to privacy issues emerging from the pandemic, as well to assist its membership with insight and best practices. Raymund Liboro, Privacy Commissioner of the Philippines National Privacy Commission and GPA’s Executive Committee member, will chair the GPA COVID-19 Taskforce. 

Mr Liboro said: “We have seen that personal data and technology have become essential in helping governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. From contact tracing and location tracking applications, to COVID-19 testing as people start going back to the workplace, data protection and privacy have never been more important. 

“Our aim for this taskforce is to examine current privacy concerns, while finding the right balance between supporting innovation to combat the pandemic and ensuring people’s personal data and information rights are respected. We will draw on the expertise of our membership and stakeholders to provide useful insight on common challenges.” 

The GPA COVID-19 Taskforce, representing more than 30 organisations across all global regions, first met on 26 May 2020, coinciding with Privacy Awareness Week in the Asia-Pacific region.  

During its first meeting, the Taskforce discussed the most strategic and pressing privacy issues that will require in-depth examination over the next few months. Members agreed on an initial workplan, with a view to communicate regularly on progress and information on initiatives to the GPA membership community and wider audience.  

For more information and resources on data protection and COVID-19 visit