Punit Bhatia

Why GDPR Matters in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic?

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The COVID-19 pandemic underlines the importance of data protection and privacy and how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) holds a crucial role in safeguarding it. 

In the fights against COVID-19, governments worldwide introduced measures and mechanisms to control the virus spread. Several mechanisms involved data collection such as contact tracing, movement monitoring, self-health reporting and vaccination certificate checking.  


In our first podcast episode, the President of San Marino’s Data Protection Authorities (DPA), Nicola Fabiola, highlighted that GDPR is becoming more relevant in protecting personal data and privacy under this circumstance. 

“In this pandemic, we have to pay more attention to the processing of personal data and also regarding the development of apps to trace people with the purposes to avoid infection and contain the worst spread of the outbreak,” he said.


Institutions such as hospitals along with doctors and nurses should handle the personal data of patients according to GDPR, the same way as it was before the pandemic. They should in fact even be more careful as they deal with a bigger amount of data compared to the times before the pandemic, said Nicola.  

Every EU Member States who wants to tackle the pandemic by using technical control systems on people should also respect the GDPR, Nicola said. “Whoever wants to develop apps, for example by using cameras or artificial intelligence solutions should respect the GDPR".  

About Nicola Fabiano: Nicola Fabiano is the President of San Marino’s Data Protection Authority (DPA). He is also the first ever DPA’s president in the country. Nicola is an Italian lawyer, an independent researcher, who is active on various studies on the impact of emerging technology on data protection. 

About Punit Bhatia: Punit Bhatia is one of the leading privacy experts who has worked with professionals in over 30 countries. Punit works with CXOs and DPOs to identify and manage privacy risks, create and implement of privacy strategy in world that is digital, AI driven and having data in cloud. Punit helps you to create a culture of privacy by establishing a privacy network and training management. Selectively, Punit is open to being a privacy advisor or coach for you. Punit is the founder and CEO of FIT4PRIVACY company,



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