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Robert M. Holland, associate in the firm's Healthcare and Cybersecurity & Data Privacy sections, is quoted in a Washington Examiner article, "Republican senators propose privacy protections during COVID-19 tracking efforts" on the topic of a proposed federal bill that is intended to protect the privacy of U.S. residents as government agencies and private companies track the spread of COVID-19. 

The proposal gives consumers some benefits by requiring companies to get their affirmative consent before collecting COVID-19 data, said Robert Holland, who focuses on healthcare and cybersecurity as a lawyer with the Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney law firm.

The opt-out rights in the proposal are also “critical to give consumers a feeling of control over their data,” he said.

However, the proposal, as outlined, contains several shortcomings, he added. It does not appear to define the minimum standards for security and data minimization.

“If the security standards are too low, consumers won’t have confidence that the companies are handling data responsibly,” said Holland, based in D.C. “If minimization standards are too low, companies will be permitted to collect significantly more data than is actually necessary to achieve the contact-tracing goals.”