Beltug Position: Companies urgently need clarity on how to balance privacy requirements with Covid-19 measures


Beltug, with the support of its privacy experts from the Privacy Council, has prepared a Position (in NL and FR) calling on the government to provide a clear legal framework for the measures companies are taking against Covid-19, which might impact on people’s privacy rights.


As more companies begin ramping up their ‘normal’ activities, they want to offer employees, visitors, customers, etc. a safe environment. Among the practical measures they are considering are: measuring people’s temperature, placing screens between desks, specifying direction for walking, evaluating wearables and apps, etc.


In regards to using apps and wearables to control social distance within the company or to trace people’s contact with others, the legal context is very unclear.


Beltug wants to avoid ending up on a slippery slope, where companies introduce apps & wearables without the possibility to accurately evaluate the possible consequences on privacy.


In the meantime, while the situation remains unclear, we call on the Data Protection Authority to take a reasonable, understanding attitude regarding the actions of companies in what is, after all, an unprecedented situation.


Beltug’s Position calls for:


  • a legal ground for allowing temperature measurements, within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic (under the condition that the government determines temperature measurements to be important in the exit strategy after Covid-19)
  • a clear framework for the use of apps and wearables for social distancing and tracing in the workplace, within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • cooperation between the government and the private sector, to avoid duplicated work on Data Protection Impact assessments for these new apps and initiatives


The Beltug Privacy Council, including the Covid-19 Special Interest Group, continues to work on ways to support our members in the areas of privacy and the GDPR, and of the impact of preventative measures against Covid-19. Within the Beltug Privacy Council, privacy experts from more than 50 companies from different sectors and government institutions exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas.







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