This article was first published on Stories by Enigma Project on Medium
Join the Enigma team as we build real-world solutions to help fight a global pandemic.
Note: Our latest update on SafeTrace (April 2020) can be found here.
In just the past few months, the new coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 has upended everyday life. The disease has rapidly spread around the world, evolving quickly from “unpredictable” to “epidemic” to a global “pandemic”. To deal with this crisis, individuals, businesses, and governments have taken dramatic preventative measures to slow the spread.
Fighting a pandemic and saving lives requires the effective use of data, which means doing comprehensive testing as well as understanding individual movements. However, some of the measures being used to combat COVID-19, specifically contact tracing, involve significant privacy compromises that pose risks even when participation is voluntary.
Fortunately, it is possible to leverage this valuable data and protect public health while also protecting individual privacy. Our team at Enigma has been developing a platform called SafeTrace to facilitate privacy-preserving contact tracing — and now, we’re looking for collaborators. SafeTrace lets users share sensitive location and health data with other users and officials, without compromising the privacy of that data.
Read on to learn more about why maintaining user privacy is essential even while fighting a pandemic, what we are building to combat COVID-19, and how you can get involved with our efforts.
Why Contact Tracing? And Why Privacy?
The virus causing COVID-19 is highly contagious, and experts have recommended social distancing to avoid exposure. Many cities have begun to enforce “shelter-in-place” policies, which means all nonessential businesses are closed and citizens are prohibited from leaving their homes (unless absolutely necessary). These efforts have been necessary to “flatten the curve” and minimize the burden on fragile and overloaded healthcare systems.
Individual data ...
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Stories by Enigma Project on Medium