Published on April 7th, 2020 | by Dr. Keith Bhatia & Dr. Cemal Dikmen
Covid-19 & Contact Tracing via Device Location
Location information is gathered from connected devices including mobile phones. It is a critical data point which, when used by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), tracks a suspect to identify where they have been, who they have been with, when they were in contact with them and the other people around at the time.
Having worked with LEAs for decades, we understand this technology and it is the same technology that can be used for contact tracing in the current pandemic situation. Being able to proactively identify and isolate individuals, based on their contact with infected individuals, can have a significant impact on multiple fronts. Location information can help minimize the spread of the infection during the incubation period, ensure exposed and symptomatic individuals receive early treatment, and others directed into self-isolation before symptoms present.
In more extreme use cases, identified infected individuals could be tracked to help enforcement of county, state, federal or national Shelter-in-Place orders. LEAs could monitor infractions to these orders, or the congregation of people over the maximum allowed number.
Location data can also help identify hotspots and potential hotspots, with a high degree of accuracy. This information can then facilitate the deployment of the limited emergency responders, health care workers, and necessary supplies to areas most in need. Ultimately, the location data gathered (who, where, when, and contact distance) can help us understand the characteristics of the infection itself.
Today, contact tracing is based on interviews conducted post infection. Since people often do not remember everyone they came in contact with, don’t know the people around them, or who was next in line, the information gathered during an interview can be limited. Location information can complete the picture and greatly adds value in a specific geo-fence regarding when and where the contact was and who was around them. This includes (with advanced location information) some idea of the distances between individuals and time of exposure.
The technology is available, the maps are available and, in some countries, location technology is being leveraged and apps utilized. Most feel location technology and tracing information can make a significant difference during this pandemic and help save lives.
To learn more about contact tracing technologies and how a system can be implemented in your region, please contact SS8.
About Dr. Keith Bhatia
As COO of SS8, Keith combines his broad technical and market knowledge to advance the future of lawful intelligence. In his tenure, he has positioned SS8 as a leader in a world connected by 5G and shaped by increasing digitalization and automation. Keith is impassioned to show how technology can have a positive impact on our world.
About Dr. Cemal Dikmen
As SS8’s CTO, Cemal plays an integral role in the company’s strategic direction, development, and future growth. A renowned expert and thought leader in the legal compliance and communications analysis domain, he has been a frequent speaker at various industry conferences over the past 10 years. Cemal holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering.
SS8 provides Lawful Intelligence platforms. They work closely with leading intelligence agencies, communication providers, law enforcement agencies and standards bodies. Their technology incorporates the methodologies discussed in this blog and the Xcipio® and Intellego® product portfolios are used worldwide for the capture, analysis and delivery of data for the purposes of criminal investigations.