COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps: Security and Privacy

Facing the new reality the pandemic brought us - with such measures as social distancing and many other restrictions we couldn't even imagine several years ago - the up-to-date, innovative technologies also care for our health and well-being. One of our cyber assistants is a COVID-19 contact tracing app. With a great range available, any person, organization, or even the government can find the one which will meet all expectations and specific needs. At the same time, with an undeniable vital role of such applications, here comes a complex question of security and privacy issues and concerns of COVID-19 contact tracing apps.

How Do COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps Work?

The main COVID-19 trackers' goal is to stop the spread of the disease. If more exactly, they help identify contagious individuals and their contacts for people and organizations to make informed decisions, manage on-premises COVID-19 cases, isolate outbreak hot zones, and notify individuals who may be exposed to the disease. The goal is undoubtedly important unless COVID-19 contact tracing apps put people's personal data's security and privacy at risk.

Area Covered by COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps

Speaking about the area where the COVID-19 tracker is functional is essential because it considerably changes the impact and the number of people whose data is collected. If the app is utilized to mitigate risks or manage the situation in a particular company, it is obvious that the area covered by the COVID-19 contact tracing app is or has to be accurately limited to some geolocation. The data is to be collected from a more or less restricted group of people who must be warned about the data collection. In this case, the security and privacy of proper COVID-19 contact tracing applications can be guaranteed and checked.

On the other hand, public or government COVID-19 trackers make security and privacy issues much more difficult. And the speed they needed to be launched to save people also influences their quality and attention to cyber security.

COVID-19 Trackers' Compliance with Privacy Regulations

Data privacy regulations or laws control proper personal information handling. According to the cyber security research, many COVID-19 contact tracing apps don't protect the collected information the right way, which can result in unauthorized exposures, data leaks, MitM attacks (criminals can secretly eavesdrop, intercept, relay, and alter communications), and other malicious severe actions. It can affect both users' well-being and the whole campaign fighting against COVID-19.

To help stop the disease and ensure proper cyber security, a COVID-19 contact tracing app needs to prioritize cyber security. It should utilize stringent privacy and data protection principles and practices to minimize risks such as the EU's GDPR or other effective privacy laws - applicable to the location or exemplary in cyber security performance.

Choose COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps with Proper Cyber Security and Privacy Principles

Finally, MBS Tech's team wants to point out that we don't diminish COVID-19 contact tracing applications' vital role in fighting against the disease. We recommend users choosing the apps very carefully to prevent possible catastrophic consequences of data breaches and other harmful actions by hackers. No matter what, don't forget that staying cyber safe always matters - before, during, and after the pandemic, in particular.

On the other hand, decent app developers should care much for their software security and privacy standards, especially (but not only in this case) playing such an important role and handling many people's sensitive data. They can solve this task alone, with special tools or expert help.



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