ACDC-Tracing: Towards Anonymous Citizen-Driven Contact Tracing

Authors: Roomp, K., Oliver, N.

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Publication: arXiv preprint arXiv:2004.07463, 2020

As we enter the control phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many efforts have been dedicated to developing smartphone-based contact tracing apps in order to automatically identify people that a person with COVID-19 might have infected. These applications while potentially useful, present significant adoption, societal, technical and privacy challenges. We propose ACDC-Tracing, a simpler, anonymous, voucher-based contact tracing solution that relies on peoples’ knowledge of their own close contacts. People who test positive are given an anonymous voucher which they can share with a limited number of people whom they think they might be infected. The recipients can use this voucher to book a COVID-19 test and can receive their test results without ever revealing their identity. People receiving positive result are given vouchers to further backtrack the path of infection.

This is a fully anonymous solution which does not require any sharing of location data, Bluetooth, or having an app installed on people’s mobile device. Moreover, ACDC-Tracing can be tested for effectiveness at a small scale without requiring adoption by the entire population, which would enable acquiring fast evidence about its efficacy and scalability. Finally, it is compatible with and complementary to alternative approaches to contact tracing.