DTRAP Special Issue on Security & Privacy for Covid-19

Digital Threats: Research and Practice (DTRAP) is a peer-reviewed journal that targets the prevention, identification, mitigation, and elimination of digital threats. DTRAP aims to bridge the gap between academic research and industry practice.

The covid-19 pandemics has raised several issues on the secure and private management of individual information in which one needs to balance the safety risks of society as a whole and the risk of entering into a surveillance society (that might not even deliver on its health safety objective). The goal of the special issue of DTRAP on Security & Privacy for Covid-19 is to provide an expedited yet rigorous peer-reviewed venue to discuss the issues behind the governance of pandemics and open a dialogue between the researchers in the field, the software practitioners and the policy decision makers who grapple with these problems on a day to day basis.


We solicit papers on all areas related to security and privacy issue related to covid 19 and more generally pandemic research research and in particular

  • Measurement, evaluation and certification of security and privacy issues (or lack thereof) with COVID19 contact tracing apps
    • Area Editor(s): Elissa M. Redmiles, Fabio Massacci, Sara Matheu
    • Measurement and evaluation (e.g., security testing) allows us to quantify threats to security and privacy and inform the mitigation of those threats, whereas security certification allows us to validate and demonstrate the security of a product. We’re interested in measurements, evaluation and certification showing security and privacy issues (or lack thereof) in COVID19 contact tracing apps — in the lab or in the wild.
  • Human factors related to security and privacy of COVID19 contact tracing apps
    • Area Editor(s): Elissa M. Redmiles
    • Human factors and questions of usability are known to be critical in the design of many security and privacy-related systems. COVID19 contact tracing apps are no exception. We seek to understand what security-and-privacy-related human factors issues will arise with COVID19 contact tracing apps and how they can be mitigated.
  • Systemic and Individual Risks of digital tracing
    • Area Editor(s): Fabio Massacci
    • Contact tracing has traditionally  been a human driven activity. A human tracer is slow but can only make few mistakes. Digital technologies allow for scaling up tracing speed at a price of a far scaling up also false positives and false negatives. We are interested to hear discussion on the trade-off in systemic risks and benefits that such large scale tracing might imply (e.g. people asking for being tested that have no need of) or adversarial behavior that individual might put forward to avoid being tagged as false positives (and thus thwarting the large scale tracking benefits).
  • Cryptographic Techniques for Privacy Preserving Data Collection, Contact Tracing, and Data Analysis 
    • Area Editor(s): Gabriel Kaptchuk
    • Collection and analysis of detailed information about the spread and symptoms of COVID19 is critical to containing the pandemic.  However, once collected, this data can be repurposed and misused.  We are interested in techniques that facilitate this collection, tracing, and analysis while preserving the privacy of the individuals whose data is being collected.


We solicit three types of contributions:

  • Research Paper on original research contribution in the area (maximum of 25 pages)
  • Experience Paper (With the Benefit of Hindsight) reporting extensive lessons learned on the field (same as research paper)
  • Field Notes on short industry case reports (around 1000-1500 words)

More details on formatting instructions are available at https://dl.acm.org/journal/dtrap/author-guidelines


If you have questions on whether please send it to: dtrap_covid@acm.org

IMPORTANT DATES (All Deadlines AoE):

Submission open: Mon. Sep 12, 2020 

Deadline for submission: Mon. Nov 23, 2020 

First review: Mon. Feb 22, 2021

Revised manuscripts: Mon. Apr 26, 2021

Second review: Mon. Jun 28, 2021

Source Files Due: Mon. Aug 30, 2021

Publication: Mon. Oct 25, 2021


Please submit the paper through Manuscript Central at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/dtrap

Authors are requested to provide a list of potential reviewers for their paper, which the editors may use at their discretion. Additionally, submitting authors may be asked by the editors to review other submitted papers, if appropriate.

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