Demo (concept): https://kamilpiechowiak.github.io/covid-contact-tracing/
The goal of our app is to help stop the coronavirus pandemic. We propose a solution for people to anonymously self-monitor their localization. This approach can help us reduce the spread of the virus in at least two ways. All with having in mind users’ privacy. Because of the way we distribute the computations, the user location data does not leave one’s phone, unless they are marked by authorities as infected.
Once someone is diagnosed with coronavirus disease, they have an epidemiological inquiry. With our app, not only we can speed up this process, but also make its result more reliable. During the inquiry one should provide their location from the last two weeks. However, an average person can recall only 4 days. Thanks to our application position can be determined precisely. As a result it replaces vague memories with exact time and location. Thanks to it, the right people can be moved to quarantine, allowing life to keep going.
Moreover, if someone has been tested positive, their data can be published in an anonymous way. It is later transmitted to other users’ devices where their own path is compared with the path of the infected one. If the paths are close enough at some time point, the user is notified that they might have had a contact and any symptom should be taken seriously. Only points involving contact are shown to the user so that it is impossible to detect who the infected person was.
To publish the path we need consent of two sides: infected patients and authorities. People who are tested with covid-19 in most cases should be eager to publish the data in order to reduce the effects of the pandemy. We also need consent of the authorized person so that no fake paths are published.
Data gathered by users who are not infected does not leave their mobiles. However it allows them to get notified whether they had a contact with a sick person. This data can also be used in other ways. Imagine you are suspected of staying in contact with someone diagnosed with covid-19, but you have our app and you can prove that you were somewhere else.
Our program also gathers stats shared by sick ones to show risk of being infected with respect to place. To maintain privacy, we do not show paths but only risk depending on the area. This data can also be used by people who do not use our app to check whether they have been in any of the dangerous areas.
One of the major problems that we faced when trying to come up with some solution to coronavirus pandemic was the lack of reliable data regarding the movement of people. Even though not all of the people in certain locations might use our app, it will still likely prove to provide statistically significant data. This data can be used to monitor the disease, estimate its spread and prove useful for scientific virological purposes.