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World Corona warning app: Government rejects objection solution

17:49  15 february  2021
17:49  15 february  2021 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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Most of the positive messages in the Corona app are not shared. Automatic notifications could change that, but the government refuses.

Corona-Warn-App: Die Erinnerungsfunktion konnte das Teilen von Ergebnissen kaum verbessern. © Photo: Christoph Dernbach / dpa Corona warning app: The reminder function could hardly improve the sharing of results.

More than 25 million people now use the corona warning app . Their effectiveness is discussed again and again. A big problem with this is that a large proportion of users do not share this information with the stored contacts in the event of a positive test. Almost 250,000 users have now done so, but the proportion of positive reports that have not been shared has been more than 40 percent for months.

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In order to change this, Bitkom President Achim Berg, for example, advocates automatically warning contact persons of infected people in future, provided that a user does not object to the warning. “There is currently no incentive for infected people to share a positive test result via the app. The appeal to reason is not fruitful for every third party, ”says Berg. “An automatic warning message with the option of objection would lower the hurdles for each individual and the effectiveness of the app would continue to increase.”

SPD politicians such as Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil or health expert Karl Lauterbach had already opted for a change in the past the currently used consent solution for an objection solution pronounced .

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Ministry of Health against contradiction solution

But the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) continues to reject this. "From the point of view of the federal government, express consent to the transmission of the existence of a positive test result is the most suitable means in terms of data protection law and with a view to user acceptance," a spokeswoman told Tagesspiegel Background.

Update 1.7 from the end of November 2020 created more incentives for citizens to share the test result. A reminder function was built in with which users who have received a positive test result via the Corona warning app are reminded several times to share this information. In addition, with version 1.9 in December, the process from scanning the QR code for automatic transmission of the test result to sharing the diagnosis key has been improved.

“The aforementioned developments are intended to encourage users to share their positive test results. Overall, these measures have significantly increased the proportion of redeemed QR codes, ”says the spokeswoman.

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Share rate only increased by four percentage points

But what a “significant” increase looks like is debatable. Most recently, according to the Robert Koch Institute, 59 percent of the positive test results were shared in the warning app; when the reminder function was introduced in mid-November, it was 55 percent. So the increase is only four percentage points. In addition, the share was already 60 percent before the introduction of the new functions at the end of October, but then fell continuously to 54 percent. At least this development could be stopped and the trend reversed. It remains to be seen whether the reminder function alone is sufficient for a further increase in the division rate. For three weeks, the value has already been 59 percent.

The federal government has no knowledge of why the others do not share their test results. According to a representative population survey on behalf of Bitkom, 39 percent of those app users who do not share a positive test result generally do not want to communicate any health data and 14 percent do not consider themselves technically capable of doing so.

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More than one in two (54 percent) are in favor of an automated warning of risk contacts. A good 14 percent want such an automatic warning even without the possibility of objection, 40 percent advocate an opt-in or opt-out.

Such a solution would be possible under data protection law. , the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, Ulrich Kelber, had already made clear in the past. However, due to the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation, a legal basis for data processing would be necessary. One way of doing this would be to regulate this by law. This had already been discussed in the course of the introduction of the app, for example the Greens and the Left had called for a law to stipulate voluntariness. However, the federal government had refused. This may also explain the reluctance of the Federal Ministry of Health to convert the app to an objection solution.

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usr: 6
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