Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: privacy information

Privacy notice for NHS Test and Trace virus testing for all users of the service.

Documents

Details

Sets out how an individual’s personal data is collected and used when participating in the testing programme, as well as further information about the programme itself.

Go to coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested for guidance on how to get a test.

Published 17 April 2020
Last updated 16 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' and the 'quick read' version to remove that your data may be used to enable entry to a live event, and for subsequent research regarding the COVID-19 infection status of those who participated in the live event.

  2. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' and the 'quick read' version to reflect that your data may be used to enable entry to a live event, and for subsequent research regarding the COVID-19 infection status of those who participated in the live event.

  3. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' to add information on care partners and visitors to 'Annex 1: care home testing'. Deleted laboratories (12, 14 and 15) from 'Annex 8: list of data processors' of 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' and Lab 13 relabelled Lab 12.

  4. Updates to self-testing and reporting, lateral flow testing and daily contact testing.

  5. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information’ and the ‘quick read’ version to reflect changes to data capturing to more effectively identify coronavirus test samples that should be sent for genomic sequencing.

  6. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' and the 'quick read' version to reflect changes in self-testing, international arrivals and additional data processors.

  7. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' to reflect changes to police and isolation and self-testing and reporting. Added new laboratories (13 to 15) to 'Annex 6: list of data processors' of 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information'.

  8. In 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information', added Office of National Statistics (ONS) to the list of data processors.

  9. In 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information', under 'What personal data we collect', added: 'recent travel history (for example, whether you travelled overseas in the last 14 days and the country you spent most time in)'. Added new laboratories (5 to 12) and Royal Mail to 'Annex 6: list of data processors' of 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information'.

  10. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' to reflect that we collect data on your NHS login account identifier if you access our services using your NHS login details.

  11. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information'. In both documents, under 'What personal data we collect', added: 'vaccination status'; under 'Purposes your data will be used for', added: 'sharing your vaccination status with Public Health England (if you live in England) to understand the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, including their effectiveness against different strains of the COVID-19 virus, and, where appropriate, to ask you to do a repeat test and/or an antibody test'.

  12. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' to clarify the data registered when self-reporting.

  13. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' to reflect the addition of the international arrivals – Test to Release scheme.

  14. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' and its quick read version to reflect the additions of cohort pooling and lateral flow testing methods.

  15. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' to include information on the process of self-reporting.

  16. Updated 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' to clarify how data may be used to participate in health research if you live in England and Wales.

  17. Updates to the documents 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' and 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' to reflect changes to the contact process of research organisations and to mirror updates to the wider testing programme.

  18. Updated both the 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read' and the 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information' to reflect self-isolation dates not test results are shared with police forces.

  19. Updated 'Antibody testing for coronavirus: privacy information'. Added link to check if you're eligible for an antibody test.

  20. Changed the formatting of the bulletpoint list under data controllers and data processors on 'Testing for coronavirus: privacy information'. PHE, local authorities and police forces were incorrectly listed as sub-bullets of NHS Digital. Updates to the 2 documents: Testing for coronavirus: privacy information and Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read. In both documents – telling your employer if you test positive for COVID-19 has changed from 'we strongly recommend you tell your employer' to 'you must tell your employer'.

  21. Updates to the the following documents to bring them in line with the current testing programme: Testing for coronavirus: privacy information: quick read and Testing for coronavirus: privacy information.

  22. Added new document: 'Antibody testing for coronavirus: privacy information'.

  23. In the privacy information and quick read: changed “if it is confirmed that that you contracted COVID-19 from a work-related exposure your employer is obliged to report this to the Health and Safety Executive” to “if there is reasonable evidence that you contracted COVID-19 from a work-related exposure your employer is obliged to report this to the Health and Safety Executive”. Added “contacting you (if you test positive) as part of the government contact tracing programme” and “sharing your coronavirus test result with your local hospital, if you are booked in for elective surgery” to the lists of purposes your data and information will be used for. In the privacy information, updated NHS Digital’s role under ‘List of data controllers and data processors’ and in Annex 2. Updated Deloitte’s role in Annex 2.

  24. Updated privacy notice and quick read to say that if you test positive, you may be contacted by text message to see whether you wish to donate blood plasma, as part of the potential treatment for coronavirus. Updated the Department of Health and Social Care's data protection officer to Ian Stone.

  25. Both attachments have been updated in the following ways: eligibility criteria has been amended, how to get test results without a valid email or mobile number has been added, detail has been added to the explanation of who gives data to who and a greater emphasis has been placed on informing employers of positive test results.

  26. Added quick read version of the privacy information.

  27. Privacy notice updated to reflect latest testing information.

  28. First published.