Archives for posts with tag: contact tracing

I wrote a critical piece about the Google Apple Contact Tracing (GACT) platform a few days ago. This resulted in quite some discussion, which brought some more arguments to the fore, that I would like to address and clarify here. Here I focus on my area of expertise: privacy. My colleague Tamar Sharon wrote an eloquent article about the (much) broader picture, that we should definitely not lose sight of.

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The European Commission published a common toolbox for contact tracing and some guidance on such apps in relation to data protection. Here is a critical analysis.

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Apple and Google released a joint specification that allows both iPhones and Android devices to do contact tracing on a global scale. Even though “privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance”, this is a game changing event that has grave consequences. We must stop Apple and Google in their tracks. Or else ditch our smartphones as they will truly become the Stasi agents in our pockets.

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De regering wil een app laten ontwikkelen die vertelt je of je in de buurt bent geweest van een andere gebruiker die besmet blijkt te zijn, en sluit niet uit dat die app verplicht wordt. De privacy moet wel gewaarborgd worden, zegt de regering. Vraag is wat dat betekent.

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In an effort to monitor or control the spread of COVID-19 (aka the Corona virus), countries have turned to invasive forms of surveillance based on the location data that mobile telephone operators collect of their users. This is not only happening in China or South Korea, but also in Israel and even Germany, Austria and Italy. The details differ per country.

In this blog (long) post I want to describe the current ways in which location data is being used to fight the spread of COVID-19, discuss why this worries me for the future, and describe some technological options for more controlled, privacy conscious tracking of infected people. (I hesitate to write privacy friendly in this context.)

If you prefer, there is also a pdf version that you can read.

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