PEPPER: Precise Privacy-Preserving Contact Tracing with Cheap, BLE/UWB Capable Tokens - Inria - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2023

PEPPER: Precise Privacy-Preserving Contact Tracing with Cheap, BLE/UWB Capable Tokens


Contact Tracing (CT) is an old, recognized epidemiological tool, and since a digital variant is now within reach, a variety of smartphone-based solutions have been rapidly developed and deployed since 2020, with mixed results and amid controversies. Yet, achieving reliable and effective digital CT at large scale is still an open problem. In this work, we contribute with an open source software platform on top of which various CT solutions can be quickly developed and tested. More specifically, we design PEPPER, which jointly leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra Wide Band (UWB) radios for contact detection, combined with the DESIRE privacy-preserving CT protocol. We show that PEPPER+DESIRE can operate on cheap physical tokens based on low-power microcontrollers, opening new use-cases with less personal, potentially disposable devices, that could be more widely used. We also evaluate the complementarity of Bluetooth and UWB in this context, via experiments mimicking various scenarios relevant for CT. Compared to BLE-only CT, we show that UWB can decrease false negatives (e.g., in presence of human body occlusion), meaning that more actual contacts will be found, a key benefit from an epidemiological viewpoint. Our results suggest that, while PEPPER+DESIRE improves precision over state-of-the-art, further research is required to harness UWB-BLE synergy for CT in practice. To this end, our open source platform (which can run on an open-access testbed) provides a useful playground for the research community.
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hal-04064415 , version 1 (11-04-2023)


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  • HAL Id : hal-04064415 , version 1


Francois-Xavier Molina, Vincent Roca, Roudy Dagher, Emmanuel Baccelli, Nathalie Mitton, et al.. PEPPER: Precise Privacy-Preserving Contact Tracing with Cheap, BLE/UWB Capable Tokens. WoWMoM 2023 - 24th IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks, Jun 2023, Boston, United States. pp.1-10. ⟨hal-04064415⟩
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