As the world watches governments’ introduction of contact-tracing apps, new research from Trinity College Dublin suggests that the involvement of Google could cause privacy problems in at least one contact-tracing model.
Adrian Weckler talks to Professor Doug Leith, chair of Computer Systems at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at TCD, who has taken a close look at Google’s involvement in Singapore’s OpenTrace platform, used for its TraceTogether app.
His paper, jointly compiled by TCD research fellow Stephen Farrell, concludes that Google’s Firebase Analytics could mean that supposedly anonymous users might be identified. It also warns about potential ad-targeting associated with the same technology.
All of this comes after reports that the Irish contact-tracing app has undergone a recent design change, potentially involving Google in its makeup.
And it comes as Google and Apple intensify their joint approach to contact-tracing, offering more data about how their API might work.