A group of Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation to protect user privacy in relation to contact-tracing apps used to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“While the severity of the COVID-19 health crisis cannot be overstated, individual privacy, even during times of crisis, remains critically important,” said John Thune, R-S.D.

Thune, together with U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss, Jerry Moran, R-Kan. , and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., announced plans to introduce the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act.

The Act would:

  • Require affirmative, express consent from individuals to collect, process or transfer personal health, geolocation or proximity information for COVID-19 containment purposes.
  • Require disclosure at the point of collection of how data will be handled, disclosed and retained.
  • Establish clear definitions for aggregate and de-identified data
  • Require allowing opt outs of the collection, processing or transfer of their information
  • Direct companies to provide transparency reports to the public
  • Establish data minimization and data security requirements
  • Require companies to delete or de-identify data no longer used for COVID-19
  • Authorize state AGs to enforce

Read their joint press release.