Web seminar: Contact Tracing & Giant Data Collectors: A Journey from Utopia to Dystopia?

01.12.2020 12:45-18:30

Speakers: Serge Vaudenay, EPFL; Ivan Visconti, University of Salerno; Claude Castelluccia, INRIA; Benny Pinkas, Bar-Ilan University; Rosario Gennaro, City University of New York; Joel reardon, University of Calgary; Marjolein Lanzing, University of Amsterdam; Nuria Oliver, ELLIS; Stefano Tessaro, University of Washington; Prof. Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, TU Darmstadt | Location: Online

Organizers: System Security Lab


Numerous countries have recently introduced apps for digital contact tracing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. While some countries deployed a centralized approach to implement contact tracing and even extensively collected sensitive user information, a widespread debate on privacy broke out in Europe and US demanding for a decentralized and more privacy-preserving approach. As the turmoil of contact tracing approaches was evolving, Google and Apple discovered an unprecedented friendship and agreed on their very special decentralized scheme for contact tracing called (Google/Apple) Exposure Notification API (GAEN), and quickly integrated it into their mobile operating systems.

In this web seminar, experts will provide their research results and views on Digital Contact Tracing solutions. They critically discuss the deployed solutions with respect to their security, privacy and effectiveness. In particular, they will talk about the risks and threats of using solutions provided by the giant data collectors (e.g., GAEN).

The online seminar includes the following talks and panel discussions:

  • SwissCovid Status (Serge Vaudenay, EPFL)
  • The Gaze of the Gorgon. A Trojan Horse or An Offer We Could Not Refuse? (Ivan Visconti, University of Salerno)
  • TousAntiCovid, the french contact tracing application (Claude Castelluccia, INRIA)
  • Privacy-Preserving Bluetooth Contact Tracing: Designs and Challenges (Benny Pinkas, Bar Ilan University)
  • Contact-Tracing and the Potential for Voter Suppression (Rosario Gennaro, The City College of New York)
  • Proximity Tracing in an Ecosystem of Surveillance Capitalism (Joel Reardon, University of Calgary)
  • Contact tracing apps: an ethical roadmap (Marjolein Lanzing, University of Amsterdam)
  • Contact Tracing: A Holistic Approach (Nuria Oliver, ELLIS, the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems)
  • Why is exposure notification hard? (Stefano Tessaro, University of Washington)
  • German Corona-Warn-App: Lessons learned and why we need to replace it! (Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, Technical University of Darmstadt)
  • Open Panel discussion: Gone with the Wind: European Sovereignty in Contact Tracing

The full agenda can be found on the webpage for the event. Online registration is now open and attendance is free of charge.

The event is supported by the collaborative research center CROSSING, which is funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.

More information & registration

Event Website