Nodle’s Eliott Teissoniere on Privacy, Decentralization, and Public SafetyJan 24, 2022
Eliott Teissoniere, Chief Blockchain Officer at decentralized Internet-of-Things network Nodle, knows that strategies for tracing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 have raised many concerns about the boundaries between public safety and personal privacy.
Take, for example, the COVID tracking apps that have been created by public health organizations in many places around the globe. "People see the apps and wonder, 'is this going to be secure? Will I be monitored?'" Elliott said, speaking to Orchid's Derek Silva on this week's episode of the Priv8 Podcast.
"Of course, it's certainly possible to develop some private and confidential contact tracing solutions," he continued. "But if you look at most contact tracing solutions that were launched during the crisis, they are very intrusive in terms of privacy. They would track your position and proximity to other people, and possibly share personal information with them."
"As a result, it has been very tough to convince people to use these apps, especially if they use APIs from Apple or Google," Eliott said. "After all, although both companies have tried to present themselves as being very secure, they're not known to be the most privacy-friendly organizations. So as a user, if I was being told that there was some exotic new app using Apple or Google APIs to track contacts between people, I would probably think twice before installing it—even though it may currently be the best solution."
But there doesn't always have to be a trade-off between personal privacy and public safety. "We need to think about how to build systems that allow people to make the best decisions possible and to do it in a fully autonomous manner," Eliott said.