Luca app: The number of users is increasing – so is the criticism


Despite the sometimes strong criticism of the Luca app, the number of users is growing steadily every day. 1.5 million new users and 10,000 new events and check-in locations are added every week. 13 federal states have now secured licenses for the app and 318 German health authorities are connected to the Luca servers. The constant success of the app for contact tracking continues to be accompanied by criticism, reports the Spiegel.

Linus Neumann from the CCC criticizes the Spiegel, “that the restaurant-goers actually have no choice”. With over 20 million euros in financial support from the state and the app arrangement in the Corona Protection Ordinance, the Luca app is a de facto obligation and a very dubious concept of success.

The developers had also repeatedly denied the weaknesses and spread “some defamatory claims” about the security researchers, the CCC spokesman continued. “I’ve never seen this combination of incompetence and insolence so far.” The app quality, the behavior of the operator and the questionable awarding practice are “nothing more than a tangible scandal.”

Patrick Henning, head of neXenio GmbH, which develops and operates the Luca app, has often seen that restaurants also offer notes – in his opinion, there is no compulsion to use his app. The data is safe in the Luca app and has never been nearly at risk, Henning explains Spiegel.

Since April, the Corona Warning App (CWA) has also been offering a check-in function for event registration, similar to the Luca app. According to Linus Neumann, the health department commissioned the check-in function of the CWA far too late and insufficiently indicated the available function. The Luca app boss, on the other hand, thinks the CWA is unsuitable for check-in in the restaurant because the name and telephone number are not transmitted to the health authorities here. “The Corona warning app supplements and is a useful additional protection, not an alternative,” Henning continued compared to the Spiegel.

A lot of money for little use and great risks – this is how the statement on the Luca app from 70 security researchers can be summarized. You are calling for a return to the existing, decentralized solutions of the Corona warning app. There it also says that possible manipulation of the Luca app could even increase the burden on the health authorities.

Despite all the criticism and warnings, the Hessian data protection officer Alexander Roßnagel only asked for a more pragmatic use of the Luca app today. Roßnagel recommends installing the Luca app for contact tracking, even though, in his opinion, it is “not perfect” – it still serves its purpose.

The Luca app gained fame among others through the musician Smudo from the Fantastischen Vier, who had advertised the app as a guest at Anne Will and on other talk shows in March. Smudo is involved in the Luca app with Fantastic Capital Beteiligungsgesellschaft UG, which was founded in November 2020, in addition to Nexenio, a spin-off of the Hasso Plattner Institute, and Culture4life GmbH.

The app was introduced in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in March. There they did not opt ​​for a month-long tendering process in order to be able to implement a solution in good time. Of the solutions available on the market, Luca best meets the requirements.


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