Bluetooth Battalion

Bug Fighting
Vigilance is essential with the resumption of activities post-lockdown. How to fight the ninja bug? Pending vaccines and treatments, measures include:
  • Distancing, hygiene, protection
  • Contact tracing and testing
  • Treatment and rehabilitation
  • Policies and SOPs

Bluetooth Contact Tracing
For contact tracing, SG is proposing complementing its TraceTogether app with Bluetooth tokens (coin-like portable gadget). How might one of these work? As we speculate:
  • Must be brought along when going out
  • Has a serial number (registered to the user by the authorities)
  • Detects tokens and beacons which are in close proximity
  • Data logged: serial number of other device, date, time, duration
  • Data stored in memory, readable by authorities only
  • Beacons can be used to mark places (stations, restaurants etc)

Why Contact Tracing
  • To head off a second wave (or mutant bug 2.0)
  • To not enter further rounds of lockdowns which will be ruinous
  • To quickly identify potential bug sources and destinations
  • The data in a token is, conceptually, a line
  • The data of another token is another line
  • The intersection of two lines is a point, a possible source

What About Privacy
  • Data stays at the tokens
  • Only when there is probable cause, authorities will ask for the data
  • Folks are already being tracked by apps, cookies, telco towers, etc
  • Bluetooth tracking, as proposed, is less intrusive

Notes
  • Different from the wristbands used in HK, KR etc
  • Which are for the enforcement of self quarantine
  • Wristbands and tokens best suited for city states and cities
  • Harder to implement on a country basis