The COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 800,000 around the world, killing more than 39,000 people. The novel coronavirus is spreading fast and governments all around the world are trying to educate people on social distancing, lockdown, and bailouts
The Privacy and Enforcement Conundrum
An effective way to prevent the spread of this virus is to first identify who have been potentially affected by it and then making sure that they don’t come in contact with anyone. We first need data of the infected patients and people who potentially may be affected, in order to achieve this.
Currently, there are two extreme approaches being taken:
- Complete surveillance – We have seen multiple instances of Databases of people who have a history of travel publicly shared, while it is important to combat the virus it cannot be at the cost of individual privacy.
- Complete reliance on users – On the other end of the spectrum apps have been created which completely rely on users approving to share their location with complete privacy, while it may be ideologically well placed but simply not enforceable and practical enough to be implemented on a wider scale.
A bunch of volunteers from India have come together to solve this conundrum without having to give up privacy, they have built an open-source app using the Ethereum Blockchain and the IPFS-based MoiBit.
The app allows citizens to voluntarily participate in a program which records their location history in an anonymous way. If there are any infected people with a travel or location history originating from a particular place, the other users who were present in the close vicinity will be warned of the incident, to put them on close observation as a precaution. Meaning, the privacy of the user stays in-tact until government agencies intervene in specific cases of contact or outbreak.
Tracy addresses privacy concerns by allowing people to safely and confidently share information…