Corona app

Corona app Comming soon:

In the fight against coronavirus, the nationwide evaluation of cellular data was brought into play to identify chains of infection.

The Greens politicians Malte Spitz and Konstantin von Notz explain why this is questionable under the rule of law and which technical alternatives there are.

coronavirus affects all of us. The pandemic does not stop, neither young nor old, poor or rich, old-established or newcomers.

We are currently undoubtedly in an exceptional situation, as a society and as a democracy. Dealing with this crisis will shape the character of our society for the future.

For this very reason, the means used to fight the pandemic must be constitutional and must not cause "collateral damage".

Contacts recording could be an important building block to further contain the coronavirus. However, this requires legally compliant solutions that can deliver what they promise.

Only with such digital solutions will we sustainably slow the further spread of the coronavirus.

If you look at the report on risk analysis in civil protection from 2012, it quickly becomes clear that we are still at the beginning of drastic developments.

At present, the noticeable effects of the containment measures are high, but the contact with the virus and the consequences thereof is still manageable for most people.

That's going to change. Carolin Emcke describes it like this: "It is like before a tsunami: you are still standing on the beach with the firm ground under your feet and see the sea pulling back and know that soon the water will roll in a very, very long wave."

The Coronavirus crisis poses challenges to the rule of law:

It is the same now - the sun is shining, spring is awakening. However, we suspect what will come next and that certain structures will be overwhelmed.

Structures that are intended to help fight the pandemic, but which are based more on fax machines than on networked database systems.

If the guiding principle is: "Flatten The Curve", ie to flatten the increase in new infections, one of the most important instruments is the traceability of infection routes.

Locating potentially infected people as quickly as possible, questioning them in a targeted manner and being able to test, treat and isolate them in case of doubt can and will save lives, both for those affected and for their contact persons.

Tens of thousands of people across the country are currently working on this, tirelessly and fearlessly, in health offices, hospitals and aid facilities.

They deserve respect, thanks and great appreciation. Calling potentially infected people afterwards is undoubtedly important, also to be able to test more people.

However, this complex practice will quickly reach its limits with ever-increasing numbers of cases.

That is why innovative, scalable solutions are needed - and as quickly as possible. To tackle the pandemic resolutely, digitally networked applications are required.

If you follow the Chancellor, the coronavirus crisis poses the greatest challenges for our society and our democratic constitutional state since World War II, and that probably means the greatest challenges that the democratically constituted Federal Republic has ever seen.

Extraordinary crises require extraordinary and unconventional steps. But the rule of law has proven itself, particularly in crises.

Even in an exceptional situation like the one at the moment, the end does not justify the means.

Our constitutionally guaranteed liberties are just not negotiating measures in crises - their validity must be emphasized and practised in situations like the current one. For this reason, the instruments used must be proportionate, implementable and effective.

Mass data access is highly controversial:

So far, the federal government has been promoting the evaluation of so-called radio cell data as a solution.

However, such a mass data tap is not only highly controversial from a legal point of view, but it is also of little use because it is extremely imprecise and therefore unsuitable.

It was pointed out early on that app solutions would be much more suitable. Nevertheless, the federal government stuck to the approach of evaluating radio cell data for far too long.

The Federal Government would be well advised to support those who are currently trying to find legally compliant and targeted solutions all over the country.

Because such a legally compliant, voluntary and targeted app can and must be an essential component for further containment of the coronavirus.

At the latest when we are in the situation to start from the "lockdown" again, such applications are required to limit the number of cases and to track new cases quickly and effectively.

However, some conditions must be considered from the outset. For us, the voluntariness of downloading and using such an app is of paramount importance, with which users record their contact

And, if applicable, movement data locally on their device and, in the event of infection, their data logged during the incubation period for comparison with other apps - Provide users voluntarily. The retrograde tracing would remain narrow in time.

You need more than just location data:

There is a need for technical applications that deliver the quality of data that is necessary to overcome the previous analogue contact detection system.

To determine the best possible contact, it is imperative to determine Bluetooth devices that move closely around you in the immediate vicinity.

Additionally, additional data could be collected to improve the quality of the identification, e.g. WiFi networks or even classic location data such as GPS.

This data can be used to create a picture that shows who was actually in close contact with whom.

Even if such an application were certainly not a panacea since all citizens would never participate or could do it technically, existing gaps in contact determination could be closed and the notification of contact persons improved.

The challenge will also be not to create a monster database with highly meaningful contact and movement profiles.

This would massively increase abuse and IT security risks. Therefore, the data must be stored decentrally on the end devices of the users and be subject to a very strict purpose limitation.

A largely anonymized or at least solid pseudonymized infrastructure is required for the voluntary transfer of your data and the comparison with other app users.

Access to this data should be excluded for government agencies, especially security authorities. Besides, this protection would need to be anchored in its law.

Protection of health and privacy:

Such an app gave users an automated risk assessment among themselves. If a person tested positive, the data would be decentrally compared among the users to identify where there was close contact and thus a risk of infection.

By staying with the individual, you not only achieve a high level of individual privacy protection but also compensate for the lack of technical possibilities in public places.

In computer science, such as decentralized, learning and thus self-improving approaches are called "federated learning", that is, distributed learning.

The incentive to undergo such digital self-control would be not only to fight the pandemic but also to get increased freedom of movement for as many as possible as a fundamental rights-friendly alternative to curfews and the like in addition to one's health. Such an app would be a central building block to save human lives. It would be proportionate and effective.

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