Aloha Trace

AlohaTrace is a contact tracing initiative developed for the state of Hawai’i through a collaborative effort by the University of Hawai’i, the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, the Pacific Urban Resilience Lab, and private funding. The project represents nongovernmental entities attempting to provide public health services which the government has failed to fill; particularly AlohaTrace attempts to compensate for inadequate testing across the state. On the website-based platform, users are asked to answer an anonymous, six question survey on their health and movements. Ideally, users are encouraged to enter data every day. The habitual reporting allows the platform to aggregate a large body of data which, in case of infection, can be used to reverse engineer the path of transmissions and alert those who may have been exposed. AlohaTrace presents a different model of contact tracing from the mobile applications upon which many other solutions are reliant. Rather than gathering location data, whether passively or journalistically, AlohaTrace and its web-based capability is fully reliant on user reporting. Thus, the information collected is fully user-generated. While the AlohaTrace approach attempts to provide more individual control over user data, the data map provides the potential shortcomings of this contact tracing infrastructure. The map only shows five data points, all of which are near metropolitan areas within the state. This could be the result of several factors: unreliable internet or computer access, lack of daily compliance in user reporting, and/or lack of knowledge about AlohaTrace’s existence and functionality.