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Wi-Fi And Bluetooth Contact Tracing Without User Intervention
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  • Brosnan Yuen ,
  • Yifeng Bie ,
  • Duncan Cairns ,
  • Geoffrey Harper ,
  • Jason Xu ,
  • Charles Chang ,
  • Xiaodai Dong ,
  • Tao Lu
Brosnan Yuen
University of Victoria, University of Victoria

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Yifeng Bie
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Duncan Cairns
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Geoffrey Harper
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Charles Chang
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Xiaodai Dong
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Abstract

Previous contact tracing systems required the users to perform many manual actions, such as installing smartphone applications, joining wireless networks, or carrying custom user devices. This increases the barrier to entry and lowers the user adoption rate. As a result, the contact tracing effectiveness is reduced. Unlike the systems above, we propose a new privacy preserving Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (BLE) contact tracing system that does not require smartphone applications, joining wireless networks, or custom user devices. Our specially built routers seamlessly track smartphones, laptops, smartwatches, BLE headphones, and tablets without any user action, but do not trace user identity. Mapping between devices and users is only carried out for confirmed cases and suspected contacts. Moreover, we can track the absolute positions of user devices within 1.0 m due to using bidirectional long short-term memory neural networks that are trained with data pre-collected by an autonomous robot. This allows public health authorities to track indirect droplet and surface transmissions that other contact tracing systems often overlook.
2022Published in IEEE Access volume 10 on pages 91027-91044. 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3201645