Last updated on March 9, 2021
The data protection discussion about the Corona app is back: Various politicians are demanding data access for the health authorities or mandatory entry of positive results. Critics counter that the voluntary nature of the app ensures its acceptance.
“We allowed ourselves to be slowed down for a long time in the development of the app by supposed data protection concerns instead of using the opportunities for health protection,” said CDU health politician Tino Sorge to the Handelsblatt .
In order for the app to become a “key element” in the fight against corona, data access for the health authorities is finally needed. These should be relieved by the additional data. The chairwoman of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service, Ute Teichert, also suggested such data transfer. However, this should be done voluntarily.
Data transfer only with a central approach
The idea behind the demands is understandable, but testifies to a great lack of knowledge of the technical possibilities and the experiences of other countries, said Jens Zimmermann, digital policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, to Golem.de. Apps that pursue such a central approach “failed terribly in France and Australia . On the one hand, because they were not accepted by the population, on the other hand, because the technical requirements imposed by the smartphone manufacturers barely make this possible,” explains Zimmermann.
Rather, the Corona app should be further developed into a Corona information center, in which, for example, the current infection numbers at the location can be viewed, said Zimmermann. There is also no way of informing people without an app.
So far, the Corona app has been well received with around 20 million downloads. According to estimates by the Handelsblatt, 16 million of these are actively used. The high level of acceptance is attributed to voluntariness. More than 10,000 people have so far shared a positive test result via the app. This is also voluntary. It is currently being discussed whether sharing a positive result should become mandatory or at least become the standard with an opt-out. However, how such a compulsion should be implemented without also introducing an app requirement remains unclear.