Public Announcement by the Personal Data Protection Authority on the Processing of Location Data and Monitoring the Mobility of People in the Combat with COVID-19

Following the announcement of the implementation of the Pandemic Isolation Tracking Project led by the Ministry of Health, the Personal Data Protection Authority published a public announcement on 09.04.2020 entitled Matters to Know about the Processing of Location Data and Monitoring Mobility of People in the Combat with COVID-19 (“Announcement”).

In summary, it is stated in the Announcement that in cases threating public order and public security such as epidemic disease in order to eliminate this threat data processing activities carried out by the authorized public institutions and organizations i) ensuring isolation of people who have been diagnosed with epidemic diseases during their contagious period, ii) identifying crowded areas by processing location of data of the general population, and iii) developing measures in this context will be evaluated within the scope of the exceptions listed in Article 28 of the Personal Data Protection Law (“Law”) where the Law shall not be applied as “preventive, protective and intelligence activities carried out to ensure national security, public security and public order...”. In other words, there is no obstacle to the processing of location data by public institutions and organizations in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

Furthermore, in the Announcement, it is emphasized that due to the processing of the location data of people by associating them with health status, considering that serious damages may arise for the related people in case the personal data are captured by third parties, all the necessary technical and administrative measures should be taken by the related authorities and organizations to ensure the security of the personal data and the personal data should be deleted or destroyed after the reasons to process this data abolish. 

You may access the full text of the law here.