US employers placed on front lines of coronavirus safety
Thermal temperature scanners, software keystroke monitors, and wearable location trackers are proliferating in US workplaces, with the data they collect outside of any of the country's electronic privacy laws. Companies report that employers are being asked to form part of the front line of contact tracing for COVID-19 and share data on a wholly new level. Even before the pandemic, employers sought to keep employee data exempt from the CCPA; privacy activists eventually won a one-year limitation on the exemption, although employees have the right to sue if there is a data breach. A coalition of privacy groups, who favour safety but want to ensure there are limits, had hopes for legislation to require data minimisation, but the bill will not be heard in 2020 as other priorities have taken focus, although a new version, the California Privacy Rights Act, which contains a three-year exemption for employers, may reach a vote in November.
Writer: Issie Lapowsky