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HOW ANONYMIZATION MAY MASK HEALTH DATA IN COVID-19 CRISIS

Pikulik, T.; Starchon, P.
Abstract:
In an actual pandemic situation as part of COVID-19 crisis European Union face the challenge of data masking in the processing of sensitive data. European officials race to get a handle on COVID-19, the importance of collecting and sharing health data has never been poses many challenges for officials and national systems. The virus’ unpredictable and widespread nature makes tracing and testing critical to understanding transmission and treatment. Yet, this also poses a threat to personal health data: with data being collected in as many as 500 cities, millions of individual records are at stake. Straightforward techniques, is an effective way to enhance health data security. Data privacy is very essential attribute for information sharing in cloud applications. Privacy enhanced techniques (“PETs”) allow online users to protect the privacy of their personally identifiable information (“PII”) provided to and handled by services or applications. However, if there isn’t enough data to anonymize indirect identifiers, lines of data may have to be redacted, making them unusable. Researchers therefore walk a fine line between privacy and utility, but one that is necessary from a legal and ethical standpoint. In our article we will look in details at the situation of Slovak mobile application Moje eZdravie and the trivial vulnerability that allowed ethical hackers from Nethemba to obtain personal information about more than 390,000 patients who were tested for Covid-19 in Slovakia (for the demonstration this institution has access to get personal information about more than 130,000 patients, of which more than 1600 COVID-19 positive). If the state cannot protect the personal information of all people tested on COVID-19, why do we think it can protect the sensitive location data it can obtain from mobile operators? Mobile location data programs to combat COVID-19 may not be scientifically necessary and could lead to human rights abuses if they are not equipped with effective safeguards to protect privacy.
SGEM Research areas:
Year:
2020
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Keywords:
Anonymization; health data; personally identifiable information; privacy; sensitive data; privacy enhanced techniques
Volume:
7
SGEM Book title:
7th SWS International Scientific Conference on Social Sciences - ISCSS 2020
Book number:
2
SGEM Series:
SWS International Scientific Conferences on SOCIAL SCIENCES - ISCSS, SWS Vienna Art Extended Sessions, https://sgemvienna.org
Pages:
107-114
Publisher address:
51 Al. Malinov blvd, Sofia, 1712, Bulgaria
SGEM supporters:
SWS Scholarly Society; Acad Sci Czech Republ; Latvian Acad Sci; Polish Acad Sci; Russian Acad Sci; Serbian Acad Sci & Arts; Natl Acad Sci Ukraine; Natl Acad Sci Armenia; Sci Council Japan; European Acad Sci, Arts & Letters; Acad Fine Arts Zagreb Croatia; C
Period:
9-10 December, 2020, https://sgemvienna.org
ISBN:
978-619-7603-15-6
ISSN:
2682-9959
Conference:
7th SWS International Scientific Conference on Social Sciences - ISCSS 2020, 9-10 December, 2020
DOI:
10.5593/sws.iscss.v2020.7.2/s13.13
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