The Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman has published an FAQ on data protection and the coronavirus
The Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman has compiled answers to the most common questions concerning data protection and the coronavirus epidemic. The FAQ is published on the Office’s website, and its topics include the publication of coronavirus statistics, the definition of health data and the employer’s confidentiality obligation. The FAQ will be updated as required.
Enquiries have been made to the Data Protection Ombudsman on subjects related to the coronavirus, for example whether data protection legislation prohibits the disclosure of coronavirus statistics. Data protection legislation does not apply to the processing and publication of anonymous data. Data is anonymous if individuals cannot be identified from it. Publishing anonymised statistics is permitted, provided that identifying individuals from the data has been irreversibly prevented. Data remains identifiable if combining it with other information permits the identification of individuals, for example.
Patient data is data generated by the health care system and recorded in patient records. The confidentiality and disclosure of patient data, including data related to deceased persons, is provided for in section 13 of the Act on the Status and Rights of Patients (Patients Act, 785/1992).
Data Protection Ombudsman Reijo Aarnio, tel. +358 40 520 7068, reijo.aarnio(at)om.fi