Blockchain Experts Weigh in on Russia’s Controversial Coronavirus Tracking App

Experts recommend that blockchain expertise may have been a greater resolution for dealing with coronavirus-related information in Russia.

Moscow’s COVID-19 App is pulled from Google Play

On March 25, an app referred to as “Social monitoring” appeared in Google Play retailer. According to the app’s description, it was designed for social monitoring in addition to for offering entry to emergency providers.

Users quickly seen that the app required many delicate permissions, together with geolocation, bluetooth pairing, biometric information, and calls. Notably, the information was additionally being overtly transmitted with out encryption. The backlash towards the app led to a 1-star ranking on Google Play by the morning of April 1. Later that day, the app disappeared from the shop altogether.

Blockchain a greater different

Russia just isn’t the one nation challenged by this disaster. Governments around the globe are confronted with tough selections within the face of the coronavirus pandemic. There is a necessity to trace individuals contaminated with the virus, however that is tough to perform with out compromising particular person privateness and security. In an effort to resolve this dilemma, Cointelegraph investigated whether or not specialists consider that blockchain expertise may present a workable resolution.

Dr. Javier Estrella, GeoDB CTO, believes that the world is simply coming to appreciate the worth of distributed belief:

“The vast majority of people are just beginning to understand distributed ledger technologies and that the main advantages are not in the technical solutions, but in the approaches that lead to them. In essence, there is one feature that stands out in systems built using these technologies, distributed trust, and this is something totally new.”

Furthermore, he noticed that the residents don’t have any assure that collected information won’t be abused or mishandled:

“Who can guarantee citizens that this data will only be used to deal with the current health crisis and that the data made public by countries has not been altered?”

Igor Chugunov, founder and CEO of CREDITS (CS) blockchain platform, believes:

“A blockchain-based register of COVID-19 patients would present a maximally objective data which neither the patient nor the provider would be able to falsify. At the same time, cryptographically-secured decentralized data provides maximum privacy protection.”

Moscow’s authorities giving out smartphones

Moscow’s authorities has not given up on the concept of utilizing expertise to control contaminated inhabitants. Aleksey Shapashnikov, speaker of the Moscow parliament, mentioned that the town is creating a database to retailer images and private details about individuals contaminated with the virus.

On April 3, Moscow’s authorities started distributing smartphones to Muscovites with coronavirus whose signs will not be extreme sufficient for hospitalization. The solely app that’s put in on the cellphone is a monitoring app which makes use of geolocation to ensure customers will not be leaving their houses. Those who violate the quarantine are as a substitute hospitalized. Government servers are saving the information, which is able to delete the knowledge as soon as the pandemic is over.

Remaining hurdles to think about

It could seem that blockchain and healthcare information are a match made in heaven. However, there are particular hurdles to adoptability, like authorized compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) within the U.S., and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe. Though world governments are sometimes immune to innovation and decentralization, time will inform if the present disaster can alter these institutional predilections.

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