Advice for Businesses in Dealing with the Expanding Coronavirus Events

Privacy and Cybersecurity Issues

March 04, 2020

Robert P. Silvers, Claire M. Blakey, Bianca G. Ponziani

Click here to read the Privacy and Cybersecurity Issues client alert

While employers and co-workers are understandably concerned about whether any individual in the workplace has been exposed or may be exposing others, health information about specific individuals is subject to important protections.

  • Employers can require individual employees to provide information about their health status, but such information should remain confidential and only available to those with a specific need to know.

  • Employers must respect the privacy of individual employees about their medical treatments.

  • HIPAA obligations apply to information provided to insurers and employers.

  • The security of business systems is only as strong as the discipline of individual employees to avoid phishing and other efforts at intrusion.  At a time when employees are anxious to find sources of information or support, the environment is ripe for scammers and other malevolent actors to prey upon those anxieties to gain access to secure systems.

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