The government application is to show whether we have had contact with an infected coronavirus

ProteGO is not immune to the action of trolls who could cause mass panic. Better solutions already work in other countries.

The application is to be created by a community of Polish programmers, designers, graphic designers and testers, working under the auspices of the Ministry of Digitization.

How should the application work?

ProteGO is to create connections between users, or rather their phones using Bluetooth technology. Then two phones with the application will be able to break the virtual five with each other , i.e. exchange data. Telephone A will know that telephone B was in its vicinity at such and such time. This will create a network of connections that will be able to collect information about meetings as well as ordinary travel on the same bus.

Information is stored locally.

This means that the central server will not be able to connect together all the virtual Fridays to track people. The encrypted database will be located on your smartphone. However, I am worried about the described way of sharing information.

The application clue is to inform users that they have come across an infected person. On the government page we read:

When one of the users indicates in the application that he has a coronavirus - data about the devices encountered by his phone during the last two weeks will be sent to a special server. This will convey this information to the devices encountered by the patient (in the last 14 days) people, taking into account the length and frequency of meetings.

Either someone has inaccurately described the way the application works, or we can prepare for abuse.

If I just need to turn one switch in my application to trigger a panic avalanche, the application will not meet its objectives. You can easily assume the appearance of trolls who, having collected a sufficiently large database of connections - for fun - will declare themselves infected.

This may have legal consequences, because if the application requires a phone number, the delinquent will be easily traced. However, this is not a harm. People who are informed about contact with a false infected will certainly go to the hospital quickly, where they can meet a real virus.

We refer to solidarity and social responsibility in the case of people who learn about their illness. It depends on their reaction how many other people can be protected against infection - says Minister of Digitization Marek Zagórski.

I would prefer not to rely on solidarity, but on pragmatism and technology.

The minister mentions that a similar application already works in Singapore, but he probably did not get acquainted with its operation in detail. It just so happens that I live in Singapore and I have the TraceTogether application on my smartphone since its inception. The assumptions are similar, but TraceTogether solves the issue of informing people much better.

The application also exchanges virtual Fridays with other phones and stores them in a local database. However, when a person is diagnosed with a coronavirus, they can give the doctor access to their database. This one uses a special menu in the application to confirm that the patient is actually sick. He then uses his own key, which unlocks the database.

Based on its records, the Singapore Ministry of Health can combine Fridays with registered phone numbers and contact potential infected.

The Singaporean solution seems to be a much more sober approach to the way the application works.

I agree with the minister that building a critical mass is crucial if the application is successful, but I also hope for discussion related to the operation of ProteGo. Singapore has released the TraceTogether code for free , so I encourage you to take advantage.



The government application is to show whether we have had contact with an infected coronavirus

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