Safe to Trace: Mitigating the Cybersecurity Threats of Contact Tracing


June 9, 2020 10:00 am EDT - June 9, 2020 12:00 pm EDT

A discussion on getting contact tracing right—for people and safety

Contact tracing has been a critical factor in containing the spread of COVID-19. Tracking down those who might come into contact with a diagnosed individual allows them to quarantine themselves and prevent further spread. The Internet of Things, combined with higher usage of connected devices by citizens and businesses during the pandemic, provides additional data to support contact tracing efforts. Data derived from connected consumer devices combined with new applications is a valuable input for contact tracing efforts. Yet with the benefits comes increased vulnerabilities to users, and there are questions about the efficacy of contact tracing applications. Cybersecurity experts have warned of increased threat vectors from contact tracing apps, and civil rights organizations have raised questions over how data collected electronically is used, including privacy, civil liberty and equity concerns.

The discussion will focus on the cybersecurity threat and response landscape as electronic data from connected devices is increasingly used to assist with containing the spread and of COVID-19. The session will be mindful of the urgent need to protect fellow citizens while examining drawbacks.