Paper 2020/949

HABIT: Hardware-Assisted Bluetooth-based Infection Tracking

Nathan Manohar, Peter Manohar, and Rajit Manohar


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused health organizations to consider using digital contact tracing to help monitor and contain the spread of COVID-19. Due to this urgent need, many different groups have developed secure and private contact tracing phone apps. However, these apps have not been widely deployed, in part because they do not meet the needs of healthcare officials. We present HABIT, a contact tracing system using a wearable hardware device designed specifically with the goals of public health officials in mind. Unlike current approaches, we use a dedicated hardware device instead of a phone app for proximity detection. Our use of a hardware device allows us to substantially improve the accuracy of proximity detection, achieve strong security and privacy guarantees that cannot be compromised by remote attackers, and have a more usable system, while only making our system minimally harder to deploy compared to a phone app in centralized organizations such as hospitals, universities, and companies. The efficacy of our system is currently being evaluated in a pilot study at Yale University in collaboration with the Yale School of Public Health.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
contact tracingCOVID-19privacyhardwareaccuracy
Contact author(s)
nmanohar @ cs ucla edu
pmanohar @ cs cmu edu
rajit manohar @ yale edu
2020-08-04: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Nathan Manohar and Peter Manohar and Rajit Manohar},
      title = {HABIT: Hardware-Assisted Bluetooth-based Infection Tracking},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/949},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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