FPF Offers New Resources on Privacy and Pandemics


Today, the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) released a collection of  new publications and resources  to help governments, educators, researchers, companies, and other organizations navigate essential privacy questions regarding the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Global leaders responding to the coronavirus pandemic are increasingly relying on data from individuals and communities to analyze the virus’ progression, deploy resources, and make policy decisions.

“We want to help organizations make data available for leaders, researchers, and the public without opening the door to lasting or limitless surveillance,” said Jules  Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum. “The information we have compiled will help decision makers think clearly about – and document – what personal information they will collect or disclose, to whom, and under what conditions.”  

The  resources are accessible on the FPF website at fpf.org/privacy-and-pandemics. They include: 

  • COVID-19: Privacy & Data Protection Resources consolidates privacy resources from sources around the world, highlighting resources that are useful to organizations grappling with questions about pandemic-related dataThe site will be updated on a regular basis  with new content. 
  • A Closer Look at Location Data: Privacy and Pandemics. Public health agencies and epidemiologists are analyzing device location data to track the COVID-19 pandemic. Reporters and researchers considering the implications of using location data  to respond to the pandemic will find this  blog post  valuable.   
  • Student Privacy During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  K-12 and higher education administrators and educators will appreciate this joint School Superintendents Association (AASA)-FPF white paper’s guidance on how the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies to schools in the context of COVID-19. FERPA and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) govern the disclosure of students’ health information held by schools; both laws permit emergency disclosures to protect the health or safety of others in some circumstances.  
  • Privacy and Pandemics: A Thoughtful Discussion. On March 26, 2020, FPF brought together a dozen ethicists, academics, government officials, and corporate privacy and “data for good” leaders for a virtual workshop with more than 100 attendees to discuss data sharing in times of crisis and effective privacy and civil liberties measures. It’s the first in a series of events about privacy and pandemics that will be used to develop best practices and policy recommendations for decision makers. 
  • Additional  U.S.  and international  privacy resources  that cover civil liberties and ethical best practices,  security, technical tools, and emerging solutions.  



Nat Wood

[email protected]

(410) 507-7898