A positive development to the otherwise unsettling situation is to see how people have come together to provide support and practical assistance within their communities.
A large amount of personal data is being shared, such as names, addresses, health concerns, pregnancy, prescription needs, and in many cases, by people less used to the online world.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has written a blog piece aimed at those who have set up community groups in the recent weeks. The ICO emphasise that the data protection rules will not stop people from helping those in need. They remind groups to "keep it lawful" - and point out that sharing data in the current circumstances might just save someone's life.
The ICO reminds those using other people's personal data to:
The ICO have directed groups towards a privacy notice template and also asked groups to keep a record of how they are using data citing these as best practice. We very much doubt that the ICO will penalise any groups who do not put a record of processing or a privacy notice in place, however, if you think your group might become more of a permanent fixture or you think there might be issues, it could be a useful step to take.
If you have any questions about how your organisation is handling data please contact Sarah Thorley or Penny Bygrave to discuss.
With cyber security in mind, there have been reports that cloud meeting apps such as Zoom and Houseparty are being targeted by hackers or 'zoombombers' who are apparently exploiting the default settings to spread malware and send explicit content to un-expecting users. Some tips to bear in mind:
If you suspect you might have been hacked or you receive unsolicited contact via meeting apps, you should report to the person responsible for data protection in your organisation (possibly a data protection officer) who can investigate and make any necessary reports.