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ACM Europe TPC Statement on Principles, Practices for COVID-19 Contact Tracing Applications

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The ACM European Technology Policy Committee has issued guidelines for for policymakers considering the deployment of COVID-19 contact tracing systems.

Credit: ACM

The Europe Technology Policy Committee of the ACM (Europe TPC) has issued a statement detailing essential principles and practices for policymakers about deploying COVID-19 contact tracing systems.

No known tracing applications can fully preserve individual privacy and anonymity, while multiple technical issues hinder the ability to prove or assume the apps' accuracy.

Moreover, high technical quality and functionality are insufficient for ensuring their efficacy.

Europe TPC's recommended principles and practices include using a technical architecture that incorporates cross-border interoperability; an opt-in mechanism for app activation and deactivation/reactivation; user consent to sharing personal information; and either non-retention, or password protection and encryption, for all sensitive personal data.

Europe TPC also urged public disclosure of app and server source code, expert vetting of the code during development, and public disclosure of the technology's solicitation and procurement and any conflicts of interest among developers.

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