Berlin – Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht considers the use of cell phone data to contain the Coronavirus only possible if it is voluntary.
“Volunteering is a very important aspect. We can’t and don’t want to go around it, “she said on Deutschlandfunk. In addition, it had to be clear that it would only be used temporarily and that the data would be deleted after the crisis. “All restrictions may only be used for as long as is absolutely necessary.”
Under these conditions, she can imagine that more people will agree to the collection of movement data via a cell phone app, said the SPD politician. “It’s about breaking the chain of infection.”
In principle, contact persons for infected people can be found and warned using cell phone data. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) originally planned to allow the health authorities in an “epidemic situation of national importance” to determine the contact persons of sick people using cell phone location data.
After fierce criticism from the opposition, but also from the SPD, Spahn initially postponed these plans. We are now talking about the possibilities of an app that citizens could install voluntarily and that anonymously warns them if they have had contact with a confirmed infected person.