Balancing Privacy with Technology Use: Lessons from COVID-19

Privacy is a non-negotiable right at any given time. Yet, governments may use crises to justify a significantly lower degree of individual privacy to be maintained. However, saving lives and maintaining privacy are not mutually exclusive tasks. Given that many countries which have legislation that allows for compromising data privacy for public good, lack implementation frameworks for minimising privacy loss in crises or lack data protection laws altogether, a different set of principles must be followed by the government while deploying technology during national crises. While they are based on the more stringent principles of preservation of privacy, introducing specific features of the crisis and of the technologies used are useful to create a set of new principles.