Privacy-Preserving and Sustainable Contact Tracing Using Batteryless BLE Beacons

Pietro Tedeschi, Kang Eun Jeon, James She, Simon Wong, Spiridon Bakiras, Roberto di Pietro

Contact tracing with mobile applications is an attractive approach for many governments and industry initiatives to address the Covid-19 pandemic. However, many approaches today have severe privacy and security issues, and many of them also fail to offer a sustainable contact tracing infrastructure due to the demanding energy consumption. This work makes several contributions towards overcoming these limitations. First, we propose a privacy-preserving architecture for contact tracing that leverages a fixed infrastructure of BLE beacon transmitters. Second, we evaluate the feasibility of adopting batteryless or energy-harvesting BLE beacons to make this architecture more sustainable and green. Finally, we identify practical research challenges and opportunities for academia and industry to advance and realize the proposed privacy-preserving and sustainable contact tracing architecture.

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