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Italy: New Omnibus Law Provides for Improved Digital Network Systems, Anti-Mafia Measures, Aid to Airlines, and Other Administrative Regulations

(Aug. 13, 2020) On July 17, 2020, Decree Law No. 76 of July 16, 2020 entered into force in Italy, providing for improved digital network systems, anti-Mafia measures, aid to airlines, and administrative regulations aimed at eliminating and simplifying requirements for economic activities. Improvement of Digital Network Systems and User Access The new law provides […]

New Zealand: Government Launches Charter on Use of Algorithms by Public Agencies

(July 31, 2020) On July 28, 2020, the New Zealand government launched the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand, with the minister for statistics stating that it was the first country in the world “to outline a set of standards to guide the use of algorithms by public agencies.” The charter, which has been signed by 21 public […]

Norway: Data Protection Authority Upholds Prior Prohibition on Collection of Data via COVID-19 App Smittestopp

(July 13, 2020) On July 6, 2020, the Norwegian Data Protection Authority issued a new prohibition on the collection of location data by the Norwegian National Health Authority (Folkehelseinstituttet, FHI) using the Norwegian COVID-19 contact tracing app, Smittestop. The decision comes after the Data Protection Authority evaluated the FHI’s response to the Data Protection Authority’s […]

Morocco: Government Decides to Ease Restrictions Aimed at Curbing Spread of COVID-19

(June 24, 2020) On June 9, 2020, the prime minister of Morocco, Saadeddine El Otmani, announced that the country would start easing restrictions that had been put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The prime minister stated that he would lift all restrictions completely by July 10, 2020. Morocco has been […]

European Union: Member States Adopt Technical Specifications to Ensure Interoperability of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps

(June 19, 2020) On June 16, 2020, the European Union (EU) member states agreed on a set of detailed technical specifications to ensure the interoperability of national COVID-19 contact tracing apps that use a decentralized approach. Each member state must designate a technical lead who will have operational responsibility for ensuring interoperability. In addition, guidelines […]

Norway: Data Protection Authority Orders National Health Authority to Stop Collecting User Data from COVID-19 App

(June 19, 2020) On June 15, 2020, the Norwegian Data Protection Authority announced that it had ordered the Norwegian National Health Authority (Folkehelseinstituttet, FHI) to stop collecting personal location data from its COVID-19 app, Smittestop. The Data Protection Authority had previously launched an investigation into the data collection associated with the app and asked the […]

Germany: Corona Warning App Launched

(June 18, 2020) On June 16, 2020, the German government launched the “Corona Warning App,” a voluntary mobile phone application to alert persons who have been in proximity to someone infected with COVID-19. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded by 6.5 million people. As of June 15, 2020, 186,461 people had tested positive […]

Chile; New Zealand; Singapore: Digital Trade Agreement Signed

(June 17, 2020) On June 12, 2020, the governments of Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore signed the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) in an online ceremony, with e-signature tools utilized. Negotiations for the agreement were launched in May 2019 when the trade ministers of the three countries met and “discussed ways to maximize the contributions that […]

Australia: Privacy Protections Applicable to COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Enacted

(May 29, 2020) On May 15, 2020, the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Act 2020 (Cth) was enacted in Australia. The act adds a new part to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) that specifically regulates the use and disclosure of data collected when people download and use the Australian government’s COVID-19 contact tracing mobile phone […]