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