The Germans, it’s of course always the Germans…. As the old soccer saying goes: a soccer match is played for 90 minutes, and afterwards the Germans win. As Europe slowly lifts it’s corona lockdowns, the European governments are checking whether the German introduction of their corona tracking app is accepted by a population keen on keeping their privacy.
The Corona-Datenspende (Corona Data Donation) app that the German government is using to exit their lockdown, gathers vital signs from volunteers wearing smartwatches or fitness trackers – including pulse, temperature and sleep – to analyse whether they are symptomatic of the flu-like illness.
The neighbouring Dutch meanwhile are also cracking on with their own app.
“No personal data required”, “almost impossible to hack” and “completely anonymous”. Beautiful words about privacy were not lacking during the presentations for a new corona app. This makes sense, because an app that is not good enough at any point will not get through, emphasizes the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport during its so-called Appathon.
“Nobody wants to have the idea that he or she is being watched by the State,” the representative of app builder Deus started his “sales pitch”. Therefore, Deus’ corona app will be “completely anonymous” and will not ask for any personal information outside of your phone number. And the engineering company was not alone.
“Which data is stored exactly where?” Was the central question during the test session at the ministry. There, seven companies were allowed to present their plans for a new app in about 90 seconds.
Over in Poland meanwhile, as we had mentioned earlier, the population which has thus far been asked to install the app, needs to take a selfie within 20 minutes after receipt of a message in order to track their whereabouts. This was of course installed for usage during the lockdown.
Some alterations could easily be made to allow the Polish government to do the same with these phone apps whilst people are going round their daily business.
The single question that remains for most Europeans is this: with only 0.3% of the population infected, is it worth for the other 99.7% to give up their privacy?