Privacy-Preserving Techniques in Social Distancing Applications: A Comprehensive Survey
Arwa Alrawais*, Fatemah Alharbi**, Moteeb Almoteri***, Beshayr Altamimi*, Hessa Alnafisah*, and Nourah Aljumeiah*
*College of Computer Engineering and Sciences, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University
Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia
**College of Computer Science and Engineering, Taibah University
Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
***College of Business Administration, King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
During the world’s challenge to confront the rapidly spreading coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the consequent heavy losses and disruption to society, returning to normal life has become a demand. Social distancing, also known as physical distancing, plays a pivotal role in this scenario. Social distancing is a practice to maintain a safe space between a person and others who are not from the same household, preventing the spread of contagious viral diseases. To support this case, several public authorities and governments around the world have proposed social distancing applications (also known as contact-tracing apps). However, the adoption of these applications is arguable because of concerns regarding privacy and user data protection. In this study, we present a comprehensive survey of privacy-preserving techniques for social distancing applications. We provide an extensive background on social distancing applications, including measuring the physical distance between people. We also discuss various privacy-preserving techniques that are used by social distancing applications; specifically, we thoroughly analyze and compare these applications, considering multiple features. Finally, we provide insights and recommendations for designing social distancing applications while reducing the burden of privacy problems.
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