Data protection vs using emerging technologies

How to fight against COVID-19 while staying legally compliant


  • Váradi Szilvia University of Szeged



Data protection, COVID-19, emerging technologies, mobile applications, artificial intelligence, drones, Genera Data Protection Regulation


The pandemic situation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has changed our lives significantly. Recent research has shown that seeking competent and advanced technological solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial to address not only this pandemic situation, but similar epidemics and pandemics in the future as well. However, the legal compliance of their application especially with European data protection legislation can be challenging. In this work, we would like to highlight the relevant data protection provisions of the Council of Europe and the European Union, which should be borne in mind while using digital solutions to fight against the pandemic. In the second part of our paper, we will analyse the main challenges of the three most frequently used emerging technologies from data protection point of view. As a result of our research, we can state that the main problem is to meet the requirement of data minimisation. In case the source data is not accurate, the results might be ineffective, unreliable or it may lead to data breaches. Therefore, to solve this paradox, we emphasize the importance of the data protection by design approach.