The deadly Coronavirus continues to ravage the earth without control with 1 million reported cases, Germany which is now one of the top countries affected by the pandemic is seeking to launch a mobile application in a matter of weeks in order to help trace the Coronavirus which is the same measure pioneered by Singapore and is said to be effective without invading people’s privacy.
Germans are said to have been suspicious of Digital surveillance wherefore people’s smartphone location can be tracked and their data harvested and used is against both the national and European Union privacy law.
Meanwhile an accord was soon reach between the broad spectrum of parties concluding that it would be useful and acceptable to track a “Close-Proximity” Bluetooth “Handshakes” right between smartphones.
This technology will work the same way as the Singapore’s TraceTogether application which will record the recent history of such contacts on a smart device.
When the owner of a smartphone tests positive for COVID-19, the data could be downloaded and then used for contact-tracing by the special teams designated to handle this task so as to get in touch with others who might be at the risk.
“We are confident we can release the solution in the next few weeks,” said the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecoms, Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI).
According to the HHI which is one of Germany’s institute for Applied research made it known that it was working with others across Europe in order to create the app which would enable the proximity and duration of contact between people to be saved for two weeks on cell phones anonymously without the use of their location data whatsoever.
“The prerequisite for such an application is full compliance with German data protection laws and usage on a voluntary basis,” the HHI said in response to a Reuters inquiry.
The Robert Koch Institute, which is coordinating Germany’s national coronavirus health response, welcomed the development work being done by the HHI but declined further comment.
Lothar Wieler who is also the head of the Rober Koch Institute warned that Germany is just right at the beginning of the pandemic and that it’s hospitals could find their capacity to treat the disease getting exhausted. The country as of now has reported cases numbering 91,959 with about 1,277 recovery and some 13,597 are said to have recovered from the disease.
This attempt includes the closure of schools and using smartphone technology to further enhance monitoring of the disease and flatten the curve.
He has won support from the Social Democrats, the junior partner in Merkel’s coalition government and the opposition Greens, traditionally strong advocates of data privacy. Another supporter of this invention is the country’s data protection commissioner Ulrich Kelber who supported the use of location and contact data being shared on a voluntary basis, describing it as “incredibly useful”.
Privacy advocates see no inherent contradiction between smartphone tracking and data protection and say that done the right way, such contact tracing can make a valuable contribution to containing the coronavirus.
“Rapid contact tracing is a central precondition for it to be possible to loosen the current lockdown in the foreseeable future,” academics Johannes Abeler and Matthias Baecker and privacy campaigner Ulf Buermeyer, wrote for Netzpolitik.org.