Posted by & filed under App Economy, COVID-19, Privacy.

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Countries around the world are developing Covid-19 smartphone apps to limit the spread of coronavirus and relax lockdown restrictions.

It’s hoped the information they gather can be used to alert people whether they pose a risk of spreading the contagion, and need to isolate. But, over recent weeks, a split has emerged between two different types of app – the so-called centralised and decentralised versions.

Both types use Bluetooth signals to log when smartphone owners are close to each other – so if someone develops Covid-19 symptoms, an alert can be sent to other users they may have infected.

Under the centralised model, the anonymised data gathered is uploaded to a remote server where matches are made with other contacts, should a person start to develop Covid-19 symptoms.

By contrast, the decentralised model gives users more control over their information by keeping it on the phone. It is there that matches are made with people who may have contracted the virus. This is the model promoted by Google, Apple and an international consortium.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 7th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52355028

Discussion

  1. Centralized tracking versus decentralized tracking. ” Backers of the centralised model say it can give the authorities more insight into the spread of the virus and how well the app is performing. Supporters of the decentralised approach say it offers users a higher degree of privacy, protecting them from hackers or the state itself revealing their social contacts. ” Who is correct, and why?
  2. It is important that around 60% of the population download a contact-tracking app for it to be effective. How does this impact your answer?

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