Guidelines 03/2020 on the processing of data concerning health for the purpose of scientific research in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak
SECTION 2 APPLICATION OF THE GDPR
4. Data protection rules (such as the GDPR) do not hinder measures taken in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The GDPR is a broad piece of legislation and provides for several provisions that allow to handle the processing of personal data for the purpose of scientific research connected to the COVID-19 pandemic in compliance with the fundamental rights to privacy and personal data protection. The GDPR also foresees a specific derogation to the prohibition of processing of certain special categories of personal data, such as health data, where it is necessary for these purposes of scientific research.
5. Fundamental Rights of the EU must be applied when processing health data for the purpose of scientific research connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither the Data Protection Rules nor the Freedom of Science pursuant to Article 13 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU have precedence over the other. Rather, these rights and freedoms must be carefully assessed and balanced, resulting in an outcome which respects the essence of both.