When it comes to fighting infectious disease outbreaks, contact tracing is a key public health response. Mobile technologies including GPS, Bluetooth, cellphone masts and AI-powered big data analytics, can help collect data that helps decision-makers understand and manage the spread of pandemics like COVID-19 within their own communities.
But when using this kind of technology, it’s critical to preserve personal privacy to not only maintain public trust but especially to protect vulnerable individuals during a crisis. This episode explores how privacy-preserving techniques such as homomorphic encryption and solutions for mobile phone contact tracing can be deployed, including real-world examples from Israel and the US. Today’s episode was originally recorded at AI For Good, an annual global summit hosted by ITU and XPRIZE, and while some elements of the conversation are more timely to COVID’s spread in April 2020 at the time of recording, our guests discuss explore how developers are creating tracing software, its importance in early response efforts and technical specifics, all of which are especially relevant challenges still today.
Thomas Wiegand is a German electrical engineer who substantially contributed to the creation of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and H.265/MPEG-H HEVC video coding standards. For H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Wiegand was one of the chairmen of the Joint Video Team (JVT) standardization committee that created the standard and was the chief editor of the standard itself. He was also an active technical contributor to both standards. Wiegand also holds a chairmanship position in the ITU-T VCEG and previously in ISO/IEC MPEG standardization organizations. In July 2006, the video coding work of the ITU-T jointly led by Gary J. Sullivan and Wiegand for the preceding six years was voted as the most influential area of the standardization work of the CCITT and ITU-T in their 50-year history. Wiegand is Professor at the Technical University of Berlin and executive director of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Berlin, Germany. He heads research teams working on : Video processing and coding, Multimedia transmission, Machine learning, Mobile Communications (management) and Computer Vision (management).
Kurt Rohloff is the co-founder and CTO of Duality Technologies, a technology start-up enabling privacy-preserving analytics and collaboration on sensitive data. He leads the development of PALISADE, an open source homomorphic encryption software library that encrypts data so that they can be safely used for predictive analytics while preserving private information. Prior to co-founding Duality he was a professor of computer science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of a DARPA Director’s Fellowship.
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