Europe has been stuck with a digital approach to contact tracing tied to Bluetooth. New Zealand has been using both Bluetooth and QR-codes for a while, and have had a few cases recently. The first of those was a dedicated app user, so she offered a real-life test case in…


In this article, we review a preprint which claims essentially that the digital contact tracing app SwissCovid works. That preprint has received some press coverage, certainly in Switzerland but also for instance in Nature. We therefore feel it is urgent to correct the record.

We re-analyze here the data and…


This is meant as a disclosure of a situation that might be confusing or carry a conflict of interest. Starting Tuesday October 20th 2020, I will be joining for two months the COVID-19 contact tracing team of the Geneva Canton (at 30% FTE). This might conflict with my position as…


Digital technologies have vastly enhanced our capacities to interact with the world and each other. However these technologies also have many downsides. We focus here on the issue of maintaining trust in the digital world, as our online ecosystems evolve to include many more actors. …


Contact tracing graph in Geneva. Source: https://github.com/PersonalDataIO/GEgraph

Zeynep Tufekci just wrote a fantastic piece for The Atlantic on a statistical variable of high relevance to the COVID pandemic, and its implication for backward contact tracing.

Seriously, go read it.

I have been closely monitoring the literature on the topic since April, and curating it on Wikidata for…


Le 6 juillet, l’application SwissCovid a été reconfigurée. Dans ce bref article, j’explique ce changement, ses conséquences, et spécule sur ses motivations.

By Stephencdickson — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60596958

Le changement

En termes techniques, le 6 juillet, les deux paramètres clés d’atténuation Bluetooth sont passés de (50 dB, 55 dB) à (53 dB, 60 db). Ceci est confirmé dans…


Contact tracing apps intend to predict exposure to a COVID-19 infection, where exposure is computed as some function of time and distance to an infected person. The distance is inferred from Bluetooth signal strength, which is a step that has not been empirically tested properly. …


Have you been convinced in the past few days that digital contact tracing was just manual contact tracing, but automated? Well, it most definitely is not!

Anyone who thinks so needs to read The Illuminati Correspondence Fast Forward and try to reflect on what it means for a historian to…


How is digital addiction enabled by surveillance capitalism? What is addiction? Maurizio Arseni, of OffGridMe.Life and MyData Geneva, shares with us his learnings from a Meetup in which PersonalData.IO participated.

Are addictive features inside digital products causing a public health problem? Is the attention economy’s model threatening our democracies and…


This post was written by Isabel Hahn as part of a short internship with us at PersonalData.IO.

Isabel is about to start her final year of LLB Law at the London School of Economics. She wants to work with organisations focusing on data protection and data rights, privacy, and cybersecurity.

Paul-Olivier Dehaye

Mathematician. Co-founder of PersonalData.IO. Free society by bridging ideas. #bigdata and its #ethics, citizen science

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store