The social distancing APP is a community project initiated byTaiwan AI Labs aiming to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
Taiwan Social Distancing App leveraged Bluetooth device signal to estimate the physical social interactions out of devices close to individual. The de-centralized approach is operated without centralized database. The data with anonymous hashed ID history is stored at each individual device for up to 28 days.
Social distance App will provide the number of physical social interactions simulated by nearby devices signals to support daily decision on travel, commute or shopping.
User has control of the App and is the key decision maker to install or remove. Restrictions are fundamentally adhered to on an individual, voluntary basis.
When it comes to decisions on closure of nonessential business. There are obvious, huge trade-offs between public health and economic vitality. If everyone can carefully reduce the physical social interaction number and business can creatively run in the low social interaction way, the official can reduce the mandatory shut down of local economic.
Since SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, a series of methods in Taiwan had been taken to reduce reproduction number, or R0. Disease modelers and epidemiologists with AI algorithms joined AI Labs to fight the spread of new infections. The process is known as flattening the curve. Taiwan Social Distancing App will play a key role to encourage people to keep daily routine with lower nonessential physical contacts.
If owner of a device with Taiwan Social Distancing App confirmed infectious diseases, the individual can choose to share the anonymous hashed ID number. Therefore, the device ever physically close to the individual will get noticed without knowing who was confirmed and when was the interactions. It will help to save other lives with privacy protected.
Taiwan Executive Yuan had announced on April 11th the effort to build this app. The API had been established and AnApp had been proposed to Executive Yuan in March. Executive Yuan (Taiwan) is now collaborating on launching “Taiwan Social Distancing App” for iOS/Android. Alpha Testing version is now available since April 4th . The general public will be soon.
“Executive Yuan is working with Taiwan AI Labs closely to break the transmission cycle of the coronavirus disease combining existing and innovative approaches.” said Chen Chi-Mai, the vice president of Executive Yuan. “Taiwan Social Distancing App is built upon existing Bluetooth protocol and simulated the physical interactions by algorithms. It is a decentralized approach to protecting users’ personal privacy.” “When two participating devices encounter each other, they exchange anonymous identifiers. The identifiers history is stored locally in the device only with no data uploaded and accessible to the health authority unless the user is tested positive and decided to provide.’’ said Jyan Hong-Wei, the Director, Department of Cyber Security.