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

Robert Primak bobprimak at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 13 12:31:49 PDT 2020

 The key word here is "pseudonymous".  It does not mean the same thing as "anonymous". Truly anonymous data collection for contact tracing is already under development by several tech companies, among them Google and its parent company Alphabet. 
-- Bob Primak

    On Sunday, April 12, 2020, 11:44:22 AM EDT, Olga Guttag <opg1000 at rcn.com> wrote:  
 The following comes from a very respectable privacy/security/social issues list. IMO it is worth reading.
Stay well,Olga

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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