Berlin – Apps that the citizens voluntarily install is a promising approach, says FDP party and parliamentary group leader Christian Lindner of the German Press Agency in Berlin.
If someone tested positive for the virus, such apps informed people with whom the person had been close for a certain time. This can be done using Bluetooth technology without central movement profiles being saved.
“Data protection and health protection are not a contradiction in terms,” said Lindner. “Instead of more surveillance, we should rather rely on the common sense of the citizens.” Countries such as Singapore showed that such apps could work without a government agency collecting personal information about their citizens.
An app for tracking infection chains could work if as many citizens as possible taking part. “You have to be able to trust the system.” It must, therefore, be carefully examined by the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and the Federal Office for Information Security. “It would be a strong signal in the world if we, as self-reliant democracies, could master this crisis without sacrificing our freedom,” said Lindner.
The FDP politician rejected considerations in the federal government to grant additional powers to access citizens’ mobile data. “Not only do they interfere disproportionately with the freedom of the citizens, but they are also far too imprecise and unsuitable for identifying contact persons and interrupting the infection chains in combination with rapid tests,” said Lindner.