HRC 52 - Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy


52nd session

Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy,

Ana Brian Nougrères

14 March 2023

EU Intervention


Thank you Mister President,

The European Union thanks the special rapporteur for her report on the right to privacy and its implementation by public entities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic understandably prompted States to implement an emergency response to curb the spread of the virus. This meant that data were collected from millions of people worldwide. While these measures had the legitimate purpose to protect public health, the situation also showed the importance of respecting the right to privacy and the right to be forgotten. Even during a crisis, people should be able to trust public authorities to guarantee their right to privacy and to ensure that personal data are only collected, processed and archived fairly and securely, transparently, lawfully, under strict conditions, and for legitimate purposes.

In line with the EU’s strong legislation on data protection since the General Data Protection Regulation entered into force in 2016 and the Digital Market Act and the Digital Services Act were adopted last year, we welcome the principle of purpose limitation in the processing of personal data. We urge all states to consider deleting and anonymizing data once they ceased to be useful for the purposes for which they were collected. Only this way can trust be restored.

Madam Special Rapporteur,

Could you please share your view on how States should raise awareness among their societies in order to foster transparent and ethical processing of data?


Thank you.