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Help wanted for covid application, automating contact tracing with bluetooth

Hello everyone

I don’t use the forums much, i watch the channel mostly. i’ll shoot straight, i’m looking for help in order to develop an app to contact trace using bluetooth for trying to get out of this covid-19 mess. The scenario is this:

  • You enroll to a public service that give you a cripto token, similar to your run of the mill cyrptocoin wallet.

  • You input your relevant medical information, including if you were already infected and cured, and comorbities (age, weight, smoking habits and other medical related issues). People can lie here, but it just a reference value. This information is not transmitted to anywhere other than the phone.

  • Use bluetooth, without pairing you can sense the proximity nerby beacons to determine who is close to you. A reverse flight mode should be implemented, meaning bluetooth radios must be on. I don’t think pairing is necessary, we can intervene earlier in the protocol.

  • Every time you “contact” a bluetooth signal, an event is generated with the proximate time and strengh. A combined hash is generated with your bluetooth mac or BD_ADDR. The event hash is send to a server with your token, the other person will send a similar hash in a way both can be linked but not traced at the moment.

  • If you get cornavirus, medical team generates a certificate to “open” your trace contact history, The server version contact trace the events to the particular day of the supposed infect and alerts the users via the “wallet”.

  • Once you get cured, medical team puts another token on your wallet, suspecting you cannot get reinfected or pass it to other people.

I have experience doing country level systems for on of the biggest security companies in the world, my experience with android or ios dev is limited. The detail might be fuzzy/wrong but that is the idea.

I just open a project in github, currently drafting the high level architecture and requirements.

The idea is that the project should be privacy oriented, adaptable for many countries laws and political organization and open source, in order to audit the system for security flaws or potential state level shenanigans.

Edit Some of the state of the art investigation:
Singapore has an app, they have been working on it for a couple of weeks, they are also using the bluetooth approach.

Found a company call zero-base trying to do something similar, but they are using qr codes, so it seem more cumbersome

There is some academic papers related to this technology showing it could work
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262023914_Epidemic_Contact_Tracing_via_Communication_Traces

Oxford University is recommending a similar approach

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Regulatory requirements aside. This sounds like a decent idea. Sadly I drive a truck and fell out of the programming sphere many years ago when i left university.

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In a world of automobiles Bluetooth is not usable for this sort of application.

There needs to be filtering in the application of course, for example contact is not an “instantaneous” event like a car passing other cars or pedestrians. In this case a low level filtering can be done inside the app an a high level filtering on a central system.

There needs to be balance between that and the need for privacy, as the more metadata you put the better the filtering, but also makes easier for massive unlawful tracking.

The government already has this to some degree - AU gov has announced they are going to use cell triangulation to track people who have been ordered to self isolate.

That doesn’t rely on people having bluetooth enabled, or installing a third party app. Sure they need a cell phone, but few don’t have one now.

Your app is a nice idea, i just don’t think it is realistically feasible to develop, test, debug and roll-out inside the time window we’re talking about to tackle covid19.

(privacy concerns aside, as well)

We (Washington State) go on mandatory lockdown starting today. I work the overnight shift. I am not strong in the mobile platforms, been a while, but I know algorithms and statistics so I would be willing to provide my Comp Sci and Math Nerd expertise if needed.

@thro I know you guiz in the AU are fairing better than most of the “Western” countries but here in the US, it is a total cluster and unfortunately our Science Denier in Chief is not really helping us much here. I would be will to bet that you could get more US Americans and Canadians to voluntarily do this before the US Gov’t has a solid contract tracing plan implemented.

The government already has this to some degree - AU gov has announced they are going to use cell triangulation to track people who have been ordered to self isolate.

This is different in the sense that even cell tower triangulation is very invasive on privacy and less precise in the sense of contact tracing (think a vertical building and 6 meters of different height), also in some places like underground locations (metro, parking lot,etc) will not work at all.

Your app is a nice idea, i just don’t think it is realistically feasible to develop, test, debug and roll-out inside the time window we’re talking about to tackle covid19.

I also probably didn’t explain myself in detail. This is not for now, in the sense of an app for the massive quarantines most countries are entering in. This is for after the quarantines, as the virus problem will not be solved and this kind of tools will give an edge to “normalize” again society, until we get a vaccine.

Btw i just finish a draft for the basic diagrams of the system.

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All the speedtest apps have built in location tracking.