The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges we are all facing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We understand you might need to continue to share information quickly or adapt the way you work. Data protection will not stop you doing that.

It’s about being proportionate - if something feels excessive from the public’s point of view, then it probably is. Our six data protection steps for organisations sets out the key principles organisations need to consider around the use of personal information.

And the ICO is here to help – please see below for answers to the questions we’re being asked. If you need more help, call us on 0303 123 1113.

We have also produced specific advice for health and social care organisations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Regulatory approach

This section explains the ICO’s regulatory approach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Testing

This section contains guidance for employers and organisations that are planning on asking people if they have experienced COVID-19 symptoms or are planning to introduce testing.

Surveillance

This section contains guidance for employers and organisations that are planning on using CCTV, thermal cameras or other surveillance methods as part of testing or ongoing monitoring of staff.

Case studies: disclosing information for contact tracing

This section provides information for organisations that:

  • collect data for their own purposes;
  • aren’t required or encouraged by government to collect personal data to assist a contact tracing scheme; and
  • are concerned about whether they can disclose data to contact tracing schemes.

Collecting customer and visitor details for contact tracing

This section provides advice for organisations that are required or encouraged by government to collect and retain customer and visitor information, for a limited time period, for the purposes of a COVID-19 contact tracing scheme in accordance with government guidelines. 

 Vaccinations and COVID status checks

This section contains guidance for employers and organisations on collecting, storing and sharing personal information related to the COVID-19 vaccine.