COVID-19 'track and trace' standards group sets timescale

The ETSI ‘Europe for Privacy-Preserving Pandemic Protection’ (E4P) industry specification group has held its first two meetings, and set out its work programme.

The group aims to contribute to the development of backwards-compatible/interoperable proximity tracing applications, currently being developed to combat COVID-19.

Its inaugural meeting took place online on May 26, with 36 organisations from across the globe in attendance. These included - according to ETSI - government agencies, vendors, operators and research bodies. The group’s first report is scheduled to be delivered by the end of the summer.

Orange’s Edgar Guillot has been named as chair, with Miguel Garcia-Menendez (Alastria) and Stéphane Dalmas (INRIA) as vice chairs.

Speaking of the direction of the E4P, an ETSI spokesperson said: “A comparison of existing pandemic contact tracing systems is underway, examining the similarities and differences of the various available or upcoming approaches. [Areas of focus will include] interoperability, security, centralised and decentralised approaches, support [regarding] different devices, epidemiological value, and privacy.

“Other work undertaken deals with the requirements for pandemic contact tracing systems using mobile devices. This will address the key aspects of the system including reliability, accuracy, timeliness, privacy, and security.”

The spokesperson continued: “The interoperability framework will allow the centralised and decentralised modes of operation to fully interoperate. It will cover ROBERT, NHSX, DP3T, DESIRE, ProntoC2 as well as other applications/protocols.”

The first European 'track and trace' application - StopCovid - was launched in France at the beginning of June.

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