[Lex Computer & Tech Group/LCTG] More on contact tracing

Olga Guttag opg1000 at rcn.com
Sun Apr 12 08:44:15 PDT 2020

The following comes from a very respectable privacy/security/social issues list. IMO it is worth reading.

Stay well,

Contact Tracing in the Real World

https://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2020/04/12/contact-tracing-in-the-real-world/ <https://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2020/04/12/contact-tracing-in-the-real-world/>

Please read this entire article. Very important points. My ultra-brief summary:

1) Not really anonymous since public health officials must be notified by doctors
2) Other data such as credit card records and public transport info can be easily
   associated -- so again, not really anonymous
3) Doesn't result in rapid testing
4) To be effective, some level of location data is necessary, somehow
5) Trolling, "performance art," and other purposeful false positives could
   run rampant
6) Bluetooth is imprecise and will tend to flag situations where no actual
   contact took place. Neighbors chatting outside at social distancing range,
   for example. Bluetooth easily penetrates common, thin walls, creating even more
   opportunities for false positives
7) Making sure such apps are kept updated is critical in this situation and could
   be a logistical mess
8) Voluntary uptake of the app is likely to be very low, for a variety of reasons. ]

	There have recently been several proposals for pseudonymous contact
	tracing, including from Apple and Google. To both cryptographers and	
	privacy advocates, this might seem the obvious way to protect public
	health and privacy at the same time. Meanwhile other cryptographers
	have been pointing out some of the flaws.  There are also real systems
	being built by governments. Singapore has already deployed and
	open-sourced one that uses contact tracing based on bluetooth beacons.
	Most of the academic and tech industry proposals follow this strategy,
	as the "obvious" way to tell who's been within a few metres of you and
	for how long. The UK's National Health Service is working on one too,
	and I'm one of a group of people being consulted on the privacy and
	security.  But contact tracing in the real world is not quite as many
	of the academic and industry proposals assume ...
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