On Sunday, April 5, 2020, a global, open coalition emerged for digital contact tracing protocols to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19 while reopening the economy. We at ITO are proud to be one of the founding teams, after our successful participation in the #WirVsVirus Hackathon.
Over the course of the past few weeks, the global community of technologists, privacy experts, and epidemiologists have worked tirelessly towards a secure, privacy-first, GDPR-compliant and open-source approach to enable globally compatible contact tracing. Our goal is to flatten the curve of infections and re-infections in the COVID-19 epidemic. Scientific studies such as this study from Oxford has shown that automated contact tracing can slow the spread of COVID-19 and help safely end lockdowns.
Our first and foremost goal is to get secure tracing apps running on billions of users’ devices globally — fast. The TCN Coalition’s easy-to-implement privacy-first protocol, agreed and reviewed by dozens of experts, is open-source, extensible, and free of charge, and is available for implementation immediately. TCN - the core of the protocol - stands for temporary contact number. This completely anonymous number is generated to privately record interactions between compatible mobile devices without allowing them to be tracked.
We urge all major technology companies, app developers and governments to implement apps compatible with this shared protocol. We welcome other groups engaged in similar efforts to join us at TCN-coalition.org. We also encourage any other contact tracing coalitions to adopt similarly secure privacy-first protocols.