Contact tracing on ubports (covid-19)



  • Hi,

    As you know one option studied to fight covid-19 is contact tracing. It may at first appear as a privacy-violating measure. However I've hear that some people have worked on a design that is privacy-protecting, with all the data kept locally only and use of encryption to make sure that no private data is leaked at no stage of the process. It seemed quite convincing to me.

    However one thing I'm afraid is that if such an app is developed, and is fully privacy-protecting, it may not be available for ubports.

    Any thought on that?





  • @pparent Realistically I can't see one being developed for UT just the main two big OS. So probably not an issue. It would be big surprise if one appeared.



  • @Lakotaubp

    I really hope that what will be massively used will be FOSS, and veritably harmless to our privacy. In that case to me this is an issue that we cannot use it, if it is privacy protecting.



  • Just to make things clear it seems possible to build an app that would be usefull for contact tracing concerning covid-19 (or any other future epidemic), without being at all a threat for privacy. And it is quite simple, and we can imagine many methods. Here is a simple example of a method that I think would work:

    • Suppose that 2 nearby device can exchange messages wireless probably with bluetooth, but we could also imagine wifi in theory. They should only exchange this message not any other info (We should check that mac addresse are not a privacy problem, they should be regularly changed randomly.)

    • Whenever a nearby contact is made, between 2 devices, both devices generate a random string (RS) and exchange it with the neighboor. Both record in their local memory the locally-generated RS, and the remote received RS, and the corresponding date (not the time), and nothing else. It's kept only locally not sent to anybody else.

    • RS that are too old (>14 or 21 days) are automatically erased.

    • If someone is detected positive, with his approval, all RS remotely received are published anonymously in a central server, to alert people.

    • Now the person who generated a RS corresponding to a contact with an infected person can know he was in contact with an infected person (simply by consulting the public server and checking if one of its own RS is there or not). But only him can know, nobody else. And no private data is disclosed!

    I really do hope things are going to go towards something like this, and if so that we could have a compatible app for Ubports.



  • And I guess privacy and freedom activists especially in the field of mobilephones, might have interest in being proactive and proposing solutions at the edge of privacy protection, rather than letting others propose solutions that are not so good for privacy.

    If others want to do it, I'm willing to participate in developing such an app.



  • @pparent said in Contact tracing on ubports (covid-19):

    Hi,

    As you know one option studied to fight covid-19 is contact tracing. It may at first appear as a privacy-violating measure. However I've hear that some people have worked on a design that is privacy-protecting, with all the data kept locally only and use of encryption to make sure that no private data is leaked at no stage of the process. It seemed quite convincing to me.

    However one thing I'm afraid is that if such an app is developed, and is fully privacy-protecting, it may not be available for ubports.

    Any thought on that?

    I tend to agree with Edward on this one.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5OAjnveyJo



  • Please guys just stop worrying about those Apps, they will proove to be useless (we already have this discussion in Austria) as there is no good way to measure the distance between 2 people - NFC or Bluetooth are not meant to be used for such stuff. Our red cross developed one, but it seems they did not think first ;)

    So just sit and wait what happens ;)



  • I've thought of this myself, if the UK develops one and restricts people's freedoms behind using the app as they're suggesting I'll have to go back to Android or something as there will never be a port of such an app to Ubuntu Touch, I think it's probably best we don't worry about it and cross the bridge when we get to it though



  • Just to let you know that I changed my mind about this kind of app after reading this document (in french), showing many security problems inherent to any app like this:

    https://risques-tracage.fr/docs/risques-tracage.pdf


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