Ovid: Message-based Automatic Contact Tracing

Leonie Reichert and Samuel Brack (Humboldt University of Berlin); Björn Scheuermann (Humboldt-University of Berlin)

The COVID-19 pandemic created various new challenges for our societies. Quickly discovering new infections using automated contact tracing without endangering privacy of the general public is one of these. Most discussions concerning architectures for contact tracing applications revolved around centralized against decentralized approaches. In contrast, the system proposed in this work builds on the idea of message based contact tracing to inform users about their risk. Our main contribution is the combination of a blind-signature approach to verify infections with an anonymous postbox service. In our evaluation, we analyze all components in our system for performance and privacy, as well as security. We also derive parameters for operating our system in a pandemic scenario.