Tech

Karlsruhe Constitutional Talk: Swap Oktoberfest for Corona app

Baden-Württemberg's Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Strobl cannot imagine a compulsion to install the Corona warning app planned by the federal government. "We are not in India and not in China either," the CDU politician emphasized on Friday shortly before the 71st birthday of the Basic Law at the 20th constitutional talk at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. "I see a big consensus that this should be done voluntarily." Politicians will now try this path at least once. "Many could be willing" to "protect themselves and others" in this way.

The Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg did not comment on his party colleague Axel Voss' appeal to allow users of a mobile application to track corona infections to go back to the swimming pool or restaurant more quickly. So far, especially at large events with over 50 people, infection chains have not been traceable, he said. With the widespread use of an app, it would therefore be more conceivable to hold such events again.

Even with such a "compulsion around the corner" according to the motto "Swap Oktoberfest for an app", society must be careful, warned the Kaiserslautern computer scientist Katharina Zweig. In principle, she hoped that such a decentralized application would make better use of modulation parameters to simulate the spread of the virus. You don't have to weigh binary alternatives such as "data protection versus saving lives" or call for location data.

Freiburg constitutional lawyer Jens-Peter Schneider, however, regretted that after protests the federal government decided on a decentralized solution in which identifiers were exchanged via Bluetooth via the user's smartphone. This approach only covers the "individual need for information", while "we will not learn anything about epidemiological development". A broad flow of information to health authorities would have been important. Even the European Data Protection Board (EDSA) made it clear that "something else could be done".

The warning app could be a "lower-threshold intervention" and "a building block in the fight against the pandemic", if done correctly, said the parliamentary group of the Greens in the Bundestag, Konstantin von Notz. "If the trust is there, many people would do it." Without this essential acceptance factor, other large-scale IT projects such as De-Mail, the electronic ID card or the Elena income statement would not have worked.

"Trust can also be destroyed by misrepresenting something good," replied Schneider. However, he also assumes that many citizens will be ready to use the app at the latest "when the next wave is rolling". Even a "priority in testing" would otherwise make many people say: "This is important for me."

"We need voluntary work," von Notz emphasized. It must be "good manners" to participate, "if anonymity is there". It would be best to anchor these aspects in a law and not just in the terms of use. He did not want to fix the start of the app so as not to overwhelm him. Lawyers from the "Forum Privatheit" emphasized against it just once againthat there is no legal basis.

. (tagsToTranslate) Corona-Apps (t) Coronavirus (t) Artificial Intelligence (t) Machine Learning (t) decentralized approach (t) digital management