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Department of Informatics - Communication Systems Group

WeTrace: Privacy-preserving COVID-19 Tracing

WeTrace Application and Approach

The CSG@IfI prepared a joint white paper with the Papers AG, Dammstrasse 16, CH-6300 Zug, Switzerland on an approach and open source application for voluntary use in the current COVID-19 pandemic: WeTrace - A Privacy-preserving Mobile COVID-19 Tracing Approach and Application.

WeTrace specifies a Bluetooth Low Energy (BTE)-based approach to fully preserve the user's identity and, thus, privacy of the person and his/her medical status data, while also allowing for a fully anonymous reporting between users, who had been in close contact for a certain period of time, such that their and only their medical status update can be interpreted correctly and reliably.

It is suggested to embed WeTrace in one of the existing applications already proposed and partially being open source, such that this major requirement of a user's privacy and his/her data privacy can be guaranteed.

The paper surveys briefly related work, defines the key requirements as well major soft-requirements needed for an app, and specifies the relevant stakeholders. Based on those steps the WeTrace Architecture is defined and the technical implementation of the open source project is described. Security and attack models as well as the privacy enforcement are discussed and mitigation measures are proposed. Finally, major observations are provided, combined with an analysis and evaluation of the current, privacy-protected state of the open source application developed