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Baseline COVID-19 app to decentralize contact tracing

Baseline COVID app to decentralize contact tracing

Baseline COVID-19 app is set to change the way infected persons are traced. Developers at Baseline, a platform for tokenization and smart contracts, have proposed sweeping changes in the upcoming Coronavirus contact tracing apps built by Google and Apple. Baseline blockchain COVID-19 tracing app aims to resolve the flaws in the apps developed by the tech giants using ‘Distributed Ledger Technology.’

Baseline itself is a joint effort between major brands like Ernst & Young, Microsoft, and ConsenSys. The team has identified certain operational flaws in the apps proposed by Google and Apple. Their apps reportedly have support for cross-platform APIs in order to allow the health authorities to oversee users.

Bluetooth Low Energy will be used for proximity detection and identify potentially infected contact. In case of contact, the app notifies the user, along with a set of guidelines and testing facilities. The second chapter of Coronavirus contact tracing will be launched later this year. Here, tech companies will independently oversee the data without any intervention of the local health authorities.

Baseline COVID-19 app resolves flaws in Google and Apple apps

John Wolpert from ConsenSys says that the proposed Google and Apple apps have inherent privacy flaws. A malicious actor can use someone else’s Bluetooth key to cause confusion. Bluetooth vulnerabilities can be used to change the infected person’s data and replace it with a healthy individual. So, an infected person can play with the data to escape testing and quarantine.

The Baseline COVID-19 app for contact tracing resolves this by decentralizing the data. The private keys shared during the Bluetooth proximity detection go through cryptographic proofing. All the parties have to agree about the proximity to change the infectious state. Repudiation risks are minimized in this setup. Individuals trying to change the broadcast status in Baseline COVID-19 app would be exposed.

Decentralizing contact tracing for improved pandemic response

The apps built by Google and Apple are based on the centralization principle. Despite assurances, the loopholes can be misused to collect personal data and negatively affect the tracking purpose.

Baseline COVID-19 contact tracing app offers more privacy and security, along with a high degree of contact monitoring efficacy. The system does not allow the anonymous IDs to be misused by any third party. For example, governments with extensive infrastructure can use AI to gather interesting data about their populations.

Gurpreet Thind

Gurpreet Thind

Gurpreet Thind is pursuing Masters in Electrical Engineering at University of Ottawa. His scholarly interests include IT, computer languages and cryptocurrencies. With a special interest in blockchain powered architectures, he seeks to explore the societal impact of digital currencies as finance of the future. He is passionate about learning new languages, cultures and social media.

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