January 18, 2021


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Privately Connecting Mobility to Infectious Diseases via Applied Cryptography. (arXiv:2005.02061v3 [cs.CR] UPDATED)

Human mobility is undisputedly one of the critical factors in infectious
disease dynamics. Until a few years ago, researchers had to rely on static data
to model human mobility, which was then combined with a transmission model of a
particular disease resulting in an epidemiological model. Recent works have
consistently been showing that substituting the static mobility data with
mobile phone data leads to significantly more accurate models. While prior
studies have exclusively relied on a mobile network operator’s subscribers’
aggregated data, it may be preferable to contemplate aggregated mobility data
of infected individuals only. Clearly, naively linking mobile phone data with
infected individuals would massively intrude privacy. This research aims to
develop a solution that reports the aggregated mobile phone location data of
infected individuals while still maintaining compliance with privacy
expectations. To achieve privacy, we use homomorphic encryption, zero-knowledge
proof techniques, and differential privacy. Our protocol’s open-source
implementation can process eight million subscribers in one and a half hours.
Additionally, we provide a legal analysis of our solution with regards to the
EU General Data Protection Regulation.