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As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and its profound impact across regions and industries, lockdowns are gradually being eased in some countries and organizations are turning their attention to re-opening their premises and bringing employees back to work. This re-opening process requires careful planning to ensure a balance is found between maintaining a safe workplace and putting people back to work. As data plays a crucial role in containing the spread of the virus and preventing a second spike in infections, many organizations are looking to leverage data in the fight against the virus.

Designing and implementing these measures in accordance with local laws and regulations is key. But what might be permissible, or even required, in one jurisdiction may be against the law in another. The Baker McKenzie network of data privacy and security experts is pleased to provide you with the Re-Opening under COVID-19: Data Privacy and Security Survey that’s designed to assist employers looking to re-open their workplace assess whether or not certain data processing they may consider in light of COVID-19 is compliant with data privacy regulation and regulatory guidance. In this expanded and updated guide, Baker McKenzie lawyers cover 39 jurisdictions and share their high-level views on common questions many companies are facing around workplace safety & prevention strategies and the data protection requirements for testing and health screening.

We hope this short guide assists companies in making some difficult decisions ahead. There are generally no clear-cut answers in the new business normal, but it remains imperative to carefully assess options against factual circumstances and their impact on data subjects’ right to privacy. The content of this guide is current as of 11 May 2020 (or as otherwise indicated) and does not constitute legal advice.

You may also want to access our 2020 Global Data Privacy and Security Handbook. We invite you to visit our Beyond COVID-19 Resource Center to access a wealth of information that matters most to your business.

Data Privacy and Security Guide



Brian Hengesbaugh is chair of the Firm's Global Data Privacy and Security Business Unit, a Member of the Firm's Global IP Tech Steering Committee, and a Member of the Firm's Financial Institutions' Group. Brian is listed in The Legal 500 Hall of Fame and was recognized as a Regulatory & Compliance Trailblazer by the National Law Journal. He is also listed as a Leading Lawyer for Cyber law (including data protection and privacy) in The Legal 500 and is listed in Chambers. Formerly Special Counsel to the General Counsel of the US Department of Commerce, Brian played a key role in the development and implementation of the US Government’s domestic and international policy in the area of privacy and electronic commerce. In particular, he served on the core team that negotiated the US-EU Safe Harbor Privacy Arrangement (Safe Harbor), and earned a Medal Award from the US Department of Commerce for this service. In addition, Brian participated on behalf of the United States in the development of a draft Council of Europe Treaty on Cyber Crime, and in the negotiation of a draft Hague Convention on Jurisdiction and the Recognition of Foreign Judgments. Brian has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, CNET, Slate Magazine, Compliance Weekly, BNA Bloomberg, PCWorld and other news publications on global privacy and security issues.