A Platform for Citizen Cooperation during the COVID-19 Pandemic in RN, Brazil

Adelson de Araujo, Israel Garcia, Nelio Cacho, Louis Arthur do Nascimento, Douglas Rolim, Jose Alex de Medeiros, Sara Santana, Alex Sandro Paiva, Mathias Lima, Thuanny Ramos, Kleitianne Macedo, Jorge Pereira, Jemima Nascimento, Leandro Monteiro, Mariane Fernandes, Natanael Fernandes, Frederico Lopes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus pandemic challenged smart cities to encourage citizens towards the social distance, as well as to optimize health and policing resources allocation. Mobile apps have played an unprecedented role during this pandemic to enable citizens to participate and interact with social issues while raising concerns about privacy and surveillance. In a partnership of the Natal smart city initiative of the university and the public ministry, we deployed the 'Tô de Olho' (TdO) platform for integrating different sectors of society against coronavirus spreading in the state of RN, Brazil. In less than four months, TdO reached more than 20,000 users with several user roles, functionalities and a strictly defined privacy policy. Location data allows TdO to notify users when they have possible suspicious contact with an infected person or have gone through virus hot zones. The platform also helps city health officials to select people for infectious testing, according to user information on symptoms, comorbid diseases, contact with infected people, risk status and QR health code. Our integration with private institutions enables employers to know which employees have tested positive to protect work environments. We discuss the partnerships involved with TdO's deployment and compare our context with related apps around the world, suggesting that public scrutiny, government investments and integration with active applications in the city are essential to achieving massive use. Further, we evaluate the feedback of active users (N=175), analyzing the positive points and advising improvements for future work on participatory applications during an epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Smart Cities Conference (ISC2)
ISBN (Electronic)9781728182940
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE International Smart Cities Conference, ISC2 2020: Smart Cities Solutions for New Challenges, Including a Pandemic - Virtual Conference, United States
Duration: 28 Sept 20201 Oct 2020


ConferenceIEEE International Smart Cities Conference, ISC2 2020
Abbreviated titleISC2 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual Conference
Internet address


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