Saturday, August 8, 2020

The RKI app plan: Corona tracking without hesitation?

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The Robert Koch Institute is working on an app intended to warn contact persons of people infected with corona – allegedly without violating their privacy. This solution also has its pitfalls.

DIt is not uncommon for politicians to end the partisan exchange of blows in times of crisis. But the unanimity with which the government and opposition are now promoting the idea of ​​an app to contain the corona virus is striking. Especially since the first proposal from Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) had encountered harsh resistance. On Tuesday, even those who sensed data protection dangers particularly quickly were open to the idea that government spokesman Steffen Seibert had indicated on Monday. Electronic tracking of infection chains would be an “essential building block” after easing contact restrictions, Seibert had said.

Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), who acts as a guardian of the rule of law, warned on Tuesday on Deutschlandfunk that the use of cell phone data must be voluntary. “We can’t and don’t want to go around it.” It also had to be clear that the use would be limited in time and the data would be deleted after the crisis. Under these conditions, however, she can imagine that more people will consent to the collection of their movement data.

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