Creators of RSA launch new technology to track COVID-19 patients without sacrificing privacy

To tackle the privacy concerns around apps designed to trace and track COVID-19 patients and contacts, the creators of RSA encryption – Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir – and others have launched a new system that would help alert people if they’ve been around infected patients without sharing your identity or phone number with anyone, including the government.

Private Automated Contact Tracing, or PACT, works via broadcasting a random and frequently changing ID number by Bluetooth while listening to others’ IDs. In case you test positive, you can upload your record of ID numbers to a server and alert everyone in the list. Alternatively, you can check if your history includes contact with infected IDs.


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