Whisper Tracing Protocol

On April 16, 2020, Nodle released The Whisper Tracing Protocol white paper[1] and the Coalition App on Android.[2] The protocol is intended to be a privacy first Digital contact tracing tool developed for the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The project has been spun off into The Coalition Foundation.[3] The protocol is being used for the Government of Senegal's Daancovid19 mobile contact tracing app initiative. Daancovid19 is the Senegalese digital response against the coronavirus. It was started by a handful of digital professionals and subsequently brought together nearly 500 volunteer experts from the private, public, and civil society. The respective Coalition App has been promoted by the City of Berkeley, California[4][5][6] to their residents.

Whisper Tracing Protocol
Communication protocol
PurposePrivacy Preserving Contact Tracing, Key Exchange
Developer(s)Nodle, Coalition Network
IntroductionApril, 2020

Technical specificationEdit

The deployed system uses Bluetooth LE to exchange rotating public keys between two users. If a key is marked “infected” by the Network, users who have come into contact with the keys are notified.  The protocol leverages a keyed hash function using 160 Bit BLAKE 2 (hash function) to generate user keys: [1]

Seed: Generated and stored locally on the smartphone or user hardware.

Session Key: Generated weekly from the seed. This key is uploaded if a user declares they are infected.

Temporary ID: Generated Hourly (or less) from the session Key. This key is included in the bluetooth data packet.

Whisper Tracing Protocol Bluetooth Data Format

Smartphones running the protocol record "proximity events"[7] which may include the Temporary ID of the user in contact, time, signal strength, location, and other metadata. A key difference with other Digital contact tracing tools is that the Contacttracing happens locally on the phone, meaning that the system does not need to transmit location, or all of the user's proximity events to a server.[citation needed]

Adoption by RegionEdit

Country Region Supporter Date Announced Status

  United States

Berkeley, California City of Berkeley April 2020 in-progress [8]


  1. ^ a b "Whisper Tracing Protocol White Paper". DocSend. April 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Nodle Launches Coalition, a Free, Privacy-First Contact Tracing App to Help Stop The Spread of COVID-19". www.businesswire.com. 2020-04-16. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  3. ^ "Apple-Google Virus Combat Plan Hinges on Still-Scarce Testing". Bloomberg.com. 2020-04-30. Retrieved 2020-05-06.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Berkeley Startups Use Blockchain to Accelerate COVID-19 Response - UC Berkeley Sutardja Center". UC Berkeley Sutardja Center. 2020-04-16. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  5. ^ Staff, Dina Katgara | (2020-04-24). "City Council member announces contact-tracing app to slow COVID-19 spread". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  6. ^ "Trump Kicks Toughest Decisions to States With Reopening Plan". BloombergQuint. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  7. ^ NodleCode/coalition-android, Nodle, 2020-05-05, retrieved 2020-05-06
  8. ^ Staff, Dina Katgara | (2020-04-24). "City Council member announces contact-tracing app to slow COVID-19 spread". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2020-05-07.