Businesses face new legal challenges as a result of the fast-paced spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). For example, as we have discussed in detail in another memorandum on the topic, businesses must consider tort liability for contributing to its spread. On the flipside, however, liability also may lie in an invasion of privacy in a business's efforts to curtail the virus's spread. Privacy rules are not set aside in a pandemic - although they do contemplate changes to a business's obligations in view of a significant risk of substantial harm, including from a severe pandemic virus. It is more critical than ever to negotiate a proper balance between privacy and safety. An overcompensation in either direction potentially gives rise to liability. This memorandum provides context to-and guidance for-some of the most pressing privacy questions currently being asked by businesses.
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