HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Danger of the Privacy 'Disappearance' during a Pandemic in the Context of Globalization and the Grounds for Its Legitimacy: An Institutional Analysis

Mikheil Bichia (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University), The Danger of the Privacy 'Disappearance' during a Pandemic in the Context of Globalization and the Grounds for Its Legitimacy: An Institutional Analysis. Globalization & Business, N11 (2021):

Protection of the private sphere has become particularly important in the context of the pandemic, due, on the one hand, to the increasing use of technical means and, on the other, to the use of personal data to prevent infection. Accordingly, the purpose of the study is to define the scope of the concept of a private sphere in order to determine which relationships the public sphere applies to and when privacy begins. In this context, it must be clarified what the reasons are for intervening in the private sphere during the pandemic and whether a limitation of the right can be considered permissible (legal).

Using normative-dogmatic, comparative, sociological methods, as well as analysis and synthesis of problems, it was established that the public and private spheres intersect in the information society, which makes it difficult to separate these spheres. However, the increased use of technology during the pandemic was found to pose a greater threat of interference in the private sphere. In this regard, it is important to establish strong and effective cybersecurity mechanisms. Thus, it is true that technological development benefits society and is perceived as a good thing, but at the same time contains the threat of invasion of privacy. This is especially true for the use of personal data during a pandemic to ensure public health. In this case, a conflict of interest arises between the private sphere and public health, which must be resolved by careful examination of the case and taking into account the principle of proportionality, so as not to violate an unreasonable right. 

A study of European practice has shown that interference in the private life is permissible if the restriction of the right (a) legally, (b) serves the legitimate public interest, (c) such restriction is necessary in a democratic society through the application of other, less restrictive measures. In this regard, it is advisable to determine the priority interest on the basis of a scrupulous analysis using the weighing method and the circumstances outlined above, which will prevent unreasonable interference with someone's rights.

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