A simple concept proposal for a corona virus application

(690 words)

Currently there is a debate ongoing to monitor citizens whether they are infected with corona virus. Public administrations and health services are keen on this information to take measures for preventing further spreading of the virus. The obtained information, however, is sensitive to the privacy of individual persons. Therefore a concept of a GSM application is proposed here that will circumvent this issue.

– A program for the Android / IOS mobile phone in order to detect afterwards whether the user has been in contact with a corona virus infected person.
– One of the advantages of the program is to provide personal privacy.
– The software is based on existing technologies. Therefore, quick implementation is possible.
– The owner of the application is responsible to undertake the necessary action in case it turns out (s)he has been in contact with an infected person.
– In order to guarantee privacy and eventual backdoors for public administrations, insurance companies or whoever, the software will be issued under a open source license.

The infrastructure is based on the existing Blockchain technology. Therefore the GSM program is a modified wallet for cryptocurrency. Currency consisting of three different coins exist with value ‘clean’, ‘infected’ and ‘recovered’.

In case two GSM mobiles will come close to each other, detected by GSM, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC or a combination of these, a coin of a specific value depending on the health condition of its owners, will be transferred between the wallets at both GSM ‘s.

The transfer is anonymous as the identity of the wallet (a number) is only known by its owner. Eventually this identity can be changed for privacy reasons by the owner himself or on a regular basis. Like at any cryptocurrency, the transfer, including the location where it took place, is stored in the public blockchain database of all transfers that have taken place since the birth of the blockchain.

Mining of the blocks will be done on a effortless basis by all active wallets in order of turn or by the authorities. So there is no CPU cost for issuing a solution for a new block of transfers. At each transfer, a specific amount of the currency is generated as compensation, which is added to a public pool. Coins can freely be obtained from this pool.

In case it later turns out a person has been infected by coronavirus, (s)he will exchange a coin of value ‘infected’ from that moment on. Only the person in question knows the ‘infected’ value coin origins from his wallet as (s)he only knows his/her wallet identity .

In addition to paying or receiving coins, the wallet program will continuously keep track on all blocks. This is nevertheless required as the wallets participate in the mining process. In case an infected value coin from a wallet with specific identity number has been transferred, any wallet is able to check if it has exchanged any coin with that wallet, i.e. been nearby that person, during the past X days. The wallet then will issue a warning to its owner. This way, the owner in question may require a test, impose himself to isolation or take other measures.

In case the infected person has been declared recovered from corona virus, the wallet will start to exchange coins of value ‘recovered’ for detecting if immunity has taken place, or not.

If the blockchain technology permits, the blocks may be auto destructed (and the wallets emptied) after X time, calculated by the physiological activity of the virus in the human corps, for privacy reasons. After the pandemic has been passed by, the wallet, including its identity numbers, may be removed from the mobile phones by its owner.

As the blockchain is a public database, there is, however, no way to destroy the transfers that have taken place during the pandemic. As the identity of the wallets are only known by its owners, the privacy of patients has been guaranteed. Due to the open source and decentralized character of the blockchain technology, an initiative for such an application can be taken by any governmental administration as well as by civil organizations.

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