Decrypted: Contact-tracing privacy, Zoom buys Keybase, Microsoft eyes CyberX

By Zack Whittaker

As the world looks to reopen after weeks of lockdown, governments are turning to contact tracing to understand the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Most nations are leaning toward privacy-focused apps that use Bluetooth signals to create an anonymous profile of where a person has been and when. Some, like Israel, are bucking the trend and are using location and cell phone data to track the spread, prompting privacy concerns.

Some of the biggest European economies — Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Ireland — are building apps that work with Apple and Google’s contact-tracing API. But the U.K., one of the worst-hit nations in Europe, is going it alone.

Unsurprisingly, critics have both security and privacy concerns, so much so that the U.K. may end up switching over to Apple and Google’s system anyway. Given that one of Israel’s contact-tracing systems was found on an passwordless server this week, and India denied a privacy issue in its contact-tracing app, there’s not much wiggle-room to get these things wrong.

Turns out that even during a pandemic, people still care about their privacy.

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