Giving police track and trace data will deter people from getting the support they need
Posted on 29 Jan 2021
Supporting people, and helping people follow guidance, is the best way to keep everyone safe.
- Laws change gives police access to health data
- Move will further undermine trust and put public health at risk, says Liberty
- “Supporting people, and helping people follow guidance, is the best way to keep everyone safe.”
Liberty has responded to Government legislation, published today, that will allow police to access coronavirus test and trace data. The human rights organisation has repeatedly warned that doubling down on criminal justice as a response to the pandemic will deter people from getting the help they need.
Rosalind Comyn, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Liberty, said: “To get through coronavirus, we need to demand a response that protects us all. We need initiatives prioritising support and resources so we can all follow public health advice.
“Quietly adding this to the statute books without even announcing it, let alone allowing parliament to scrutinise the changes, will further erode trust and undermines democratic accountability.
“Our health data must be firewalled from policing and the Government should instead invest in remedying why people can’t comply with self-isolation, rather than criminalising them for their circumstances.
“Supporting people, and helping people follow guidance, is the best way to keep everyone safe.”
Liberty has repeatedly called for strong safeguards over data used as part of the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and a firewall to ensure our health data is not shared with police.
The human rights group has urged the Government to change tack from its focus on criminal justice, and create a pandemic strategy that supports people to be able to isolate or follow other guidance. More support is needed for groups such as people who cannot work from home and afford the time off, low-paid workers who employers will penalise them if they don’t come to work, people don’t have suitable accommodation to self-isolate in, and people with caring responsibilities.
I'm looking for advice on this
Did you know Liberty offers free human rights legal advice?
What are my rights on this?
Find out more about your rights and how the Human Rights Act protects them
Did you find this content useful?
Help us make our content even better by letting us know whether you found this page useful or not