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A Privacy-Protecting Framework of Autonomous Contact Tracing for SARS-CoV-2 and Beyond

01/27/2022
by   Shamiul Alam, et al.
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Controlling the spread of infectious diseases, such as the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, is one of the most challenging problems for human civilization. The world is more populous and connected than ever before, and therefore, the rate of contagion for such diseases often becomes stupendous. The development and distribution of testing kits cannot keep up with the demand, making it impossible to test everyone. The next best option is to identify and isolate the people who come in close contact with an infected person. However, this apparently simple process, commonly known as - contact tracing, suffers from two major pitfalls: the requirement of a large amount of manpower to track the infected individuals manually and the breach in privacy and security while automating the process. Here, we propose a Bluetooth based contact tracing hardware with anonymous IDs to solve both the drawbacks of the existing approaches. The hardware will be a wearable device that every user can carry conveniently. This device will measure the distance between two users and exchange the IDs anonymously in the case of a close encounter. The anonymous IDs stored in the device of any newly infected individual will be used to trace the risky contacts and the status of the IDs will be updated consequently by authorized personnel. To demonstrate the concept, we simulate the working procedure and highlight the effectiveness of our technique to curb the spread of any contagious disease.

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