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Home / Beware of Governments Bearing Contact Tracing Apps


6 thoughts on “Beware of Governments Bearing Contact Tracing Apps”

  1. Some questions/comments:
    Where does the Apple document say closed source? Google and Apple aren’t even building apps as far as I can tell, just an API.
    The Marlinspike critique seems pretty speculative. For example, he says that you have to download IDs of all new infections but that would be for a single global app. If each state or region has its own app, then you just have to download a few thousands IDs each day, even during a phase like the current one.
    Anderson’s worry is not relevant if people can only declare themselves as infected if they’ve received a positive test from the public health authorities.

    • yancy WALDOW says:

      Contact tracing is unconstitutional. Simple.

      • Alex Marthews says:

        Are you basing this statement on particular rulings, or is it a normative statement that you believe the courts ought to hold it unconstitutional?

  2. Thanks for these helpful comments! There’s now more clarity about Apple’s and Google’s approach than when we devised the article; Moxie Marlinspike’s criticisms as of April 10 are not all applicable given the direction Apple and Google have been taking. This Techcrunch article seems to be a good overview of where the effort was at as of Friday.

    https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/24/apple-and-google-update-joint-coronavirus-tracing-tech-to-improve-user-privacy-and-developer-flexibility/

    If people “can only declare themselves to be infected if they’ve received a positive test from the authorities,” that would seem to accentuate the risks of deploying these systems without comprehensive testing regimens in place; Ross Anderson’s concerns probably apply better to that kind of world.

  3. John Galt says:

    Contract tracing is 100% unconstitutional.
    UNLESS YOU VOLUNTEER. Then you are screwed.

    Opt out here:
    bit.ly/NO-HR-6666

    • Alex Marthews says:

      Are you basing the statement that “Contact tracing is 100% unconstitutional” on particular rulings, or is it a normative statement that you believe the courts ought to hold it unconstitutional?

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