The 2019 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by a quick dissemination of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has had a deep impact worldwide, both in terms of the loss of human life and the economic and social disruption. The use of digital technologies has been seen as an important effort to combat the pandemic and one of such technologies is contact tracing applications. These applications were successfully employed to face other infectious diseases, thus they have been used during the current pandemic. However, the use of contact tracing poses several privacy concerns since it is necessary to store and process data which can lead to the user/device identification as well as location and behavior tracking. These concerns are even more relevant when considering nationwide implementations since they can lead to mass surveillance by authoritarian governments. Despite the restrictions imposed by data protection laws from several countries, there are still doubts on the preservation of the privacy of the users. In this article, we analyze the privacy features in national contact tracing COVID-19 applications considering their intrinsic characteristics. As a case study, we discuss in more depth the Brazilian COVID-19 application Coronavírus-SUS, since Brazil is one of the most impacted countries by the current pandemic. Finally, as we believe contact tracing will continue to be employed as part of the strategy for the current and potential future pandemics, we present key research challenges.
- Pub Date:
- August 2021
- Computer Science - Cryptography and Security;
- Computer Science - Computers and Society
- 7 pages, 3 figures, to be translated to Portuguese and submitted to the Regional Computer Networking Conference