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Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute

App for keeping Corona in check and protect personal rights

02. April 2020, 09:24 Uhr   |  Gerhard Stelzer

App for keeping Corona in check and protect personal rights
© PEPP-PT.org

The "Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing" initiative (PEPP-PT) aims to warn of corona virus infections and to trace infection chains.

As a member of the »Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing« initiative, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI is amongst others involved in the development of a smartphone app that is designed to protect against corona without revealing personal data.

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) in Berlin is part of the »Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing« (PEPP-PT) initiative and has helped develop a smartphone app that can warn users of corona virus infections and track infection chains. Besides the HHI, the Fraunhofer Institutes AISEC in Garching near Munich and IIS in Erlangen near Nuremberg are also involved.
The PEPP-PT system is currently being developed by a multi-national European team. It is an anonymous and privacy-preserving digital approach to contact tracking that complies with GDPR and can also be used when travelling between countries via an anonymous, transnational exchange mechanism. No personal data, location, MAC address of the user is stored or transmitted. PEPP-PT is designed in such a way that it can be integrated into national corona mobile phone apps as a contact tracking function and enables integration into the processes of national health services. It is offered to share the solution openly with each country, as a commitment has been made to achieve interoperability so that the anonymous multi-country exchange mechanism remains functional.
The international team of PEPP-PT consists of more than 130 members, working in more than seven European countries and including scientists, technicians and experts from well-known research institutions and companies. The work of the team will be owned by a non-profit organisation, so that the technology and standards will be accessible to all. The priorities will be the well-being of the world's citizens today and the development of tools to limit the impact of future pandemics - all in line with European norms and standards.

Procedure ready to use, tested, interoperable

PEPP-PT is designed to support national initiatives by providing ready-to-use, well tested and properly evaluated mechanisms and standards, as well as support for interoperability, coverage and operation when needed. According to the developer consortium, the PEPP-PT mechanisms should have the following characteristics:

  • Well tested and established methods for distance measurement on common mobile operating systems and devices.
  • Enforcement of data protection, anonymisation, GDPR compliance and security.
  • International interoperability to support the tracing of local chains of infection, even if a chain extends over several PEPP-PT participating countries.
  • Scalable back-end architecture and technology that can be integrated into local IT infrastructures.
  • In addition, a certification service will be set up to ensure that local implementations use the PEPP-PT mechanisms in an appropriate and interoperable manner.
  • A reference implementation is available under the Mozilla license agreement.

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Fraunhofer HHI (Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut)