Digital technology is likely to play a major role in the framework of an overall strategy to fight against Covid19, both to support public health policy and to be compliant with national and European frameworks for the protection of individual privacy. A major challenge is in particular the ability to break the chains of spread of the epidemic by informing people who may have met people who have tested positive for Covid19.
Inria is one founding member of PEPP-PT (Pan European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing), an initiative of some leading scientific organizations in Europe, including the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, EPFL, ETHZ, etc. More than 130 outstanding scientists and technologists from 8 different countries across Europe are involved. The goal is to provide a backbone for the digital core components of the global fight against Covid19. The PEPP-PT platform will propose technologies and standards based on a consent-based, anonymous and privacy preserving digital proximity tracing approach, which is in full compliance with GDPR and guarantee interoperability at European level.
The initiative is based on a willingness to anticipate and the platform's ambition is to propose approaches and solutions, upstream of any political decisions to include digital approaches in the fight against Covid19.
Respect for privacy frameworks, whether at national or European level, is at the heart of the initiative, which is privacy-by-design.
PEPP-PT enables national initiatives to focus on possible integration into national healthcare processes, national law and any specific requirements that each country may have if they’re willing to include such an approach in their fight against Covid19. In this context, PEPP-PT could offer a certification service for these initiatives so national authorities can release those applications with the high level of assurance that European standards in data protection, privacy, and security required.