BMinister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) considers the use of cell phone data to contain the coronavirus only on a voluntary basis. “Volunteering is a very important aspect. We can’t and don’t want to go around it, ”Lambrecht said on Tuesday morning on Deutschlandfunk.
In addition, it had to be clear that it would only be used temporarily and that the data would be deleted after the crisis. “All restrictions can only be used as long as it is absolutely necessary,” said the minister.
“Interrupt chains of infection”
Under these conditions, she can imagine that more people will agree to the collection of movement data via a cell phone app, said the SPD politician. “It’s about breaking the chain of infection.”
Federal data protection officer Ulrich Kelber also supports such a program if important data protection rules are observed. “You can protect health with data protection, and vice versa,” said Kelber in the ARD. He was pleased that the Robert Koch Institute was consulting with its authorities on the development of the app. As soon as this was introduced, its use would also be monitored.
Kelber considers it senseless to exercise state compulsion. “How do you want to force the use of an app in a democratic country? The state would have to check that too. That’s not possible with proportionate measures, ”says Kelber to the magazine“ Wirtschaftswoche ”.
In principle, contact persons for infected people can be found and warned using cell phone data. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) originally planned to allow the health authorities in an “epidemic situation of national scope” to determine contact persons for sick people using cell phone location data. After fierce criticism from the opposition, but also from the SPD, Spahn initially postponed these plans.
We are now talking about an app for smartphones that citizens could install voluntarily and that anonymously warns them if they have had contact with a confirmed infected person. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday that such electronic tracking would be an “essential building block” for succession rules that should apply after the current exit restrictions were relaxed. The Federal Ministry of Health called follow-up “an essential prerequisite for easing measures”.