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Privacy Friendly Corona Virus Tools

How privacy-friendly is your national Corona Infection Tracking?

At the WU Institute for IS & Society (Austria) we have developed a spreadsheet tool that can be used to challenge the privacy-friendliness of Corona Apps. This little question catalogue is a helpful aid to those who wish for a user-friendly use of digital technologies to fight infection.

Dr. Sarah Spiekermann, head of the WU Institute for IS & Society has conducted this brief analysis of the privacy-friendliness. She has compared the Austrian Red Cross App with the international project Covit Community Alert  and benchmarked these two solutions against the theoretic framework published by the scientific European team called “Decentral Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracking”. Most importantly her analysis is based on a number of dimensions and questions that can be used by any developers and operators of Corona apps to self-judge the privacy friendliness of their solutions. The following scientific angles chosen for quality self-judgement:

  • Degree of Centralization vs. Decentralization of Information Processing

  • Degree of Identification of the Data Subjects (A)

  • Surveillance Capitalism: Does the App leave data traces with companies engaged in data commercialization?

  • Degree of Communication Security of Notifications and Data Exchange

  • Transparency and Control

  • Could the Corona App data be abused for unexpected secondary purposes, such as, sending push messages to people, engaging in  mass surveillance, etc.?

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These dimensions are detailed through a number of questions and complemented by the functionality of the apps and their pan-European reach.

Note: The entire analysis is based on the available public information dated April 9th 2020 and it is limited to what could be understood from this publicly available information.

Here are the Excel Sheets:
Useful links to sources that have been used for this analysis:

Red Cross App: https://participate.roteskreuz.at/stopp-corona/ 

Red Cross Security Analysis: https://www.sba-research.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Technische-Analyse-Stopp-Corona-App_27.03.2020_TA.pdf

Covit Communication App (Pan European Expert Group):
https://coronavirus-outbreak-control.github.io/web/

Covit on Gitub: https://github.com/Coronavirus-Outbreak-Control

Detailed technical Information on Covit: https://coronavirus-outbreak-control.github.io/web/download/Coronavirus_Outbreak_Control_-_Full%20Proposal.pdf

DP-3T - Decentral Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracking (Pan-European Science Team):

https://github.com/DP-3T/documents