Senator Kevin Thomas Introduces COVID-19-focused Privacy Legislation

(Garden City, NY) — In an effort to address growing privacy concerns over COVID-19 tracking technologies, Senator Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) has introduced legislation aimed at protecting the privacy and security of health data amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As communities across New York move to reopen their economies, governments and companies are looking to technology in order to monitor potential risks for COVID-19 exposure. Senator Thomas’ bill (S8448) would place strict limits on how this data can be used, how long it can be stored, and with whom it can be shared. Additionally, the legislation creates a set of ethical guidelines to help organizations protect individuals’ privacy. 

“Any technology that involves the collection, use, and sharing of sensitive health data can put consumers at increased risk of exploitation. Efforts to combat the coronavirus should not undermine New Yorkers’ privacy rights,” said Senator Kevin Thomas.

The legislation is currently awaiting review in the Internet and Technology Committee. 

Senator Kevin Thomas represents New York’s 6th Senatorial District in Nassau County. He presently serves as Chair of the Committee on Consumer Protection.