Official Corona warning app launched on Tuesday


The official federal corona warning app will be presented on Tuesday. The German press agency learned this on Sunday in Berlin. The last tests went well, it said. According to dpa information, the app should be available for download on Monday evening in the Google and Apple stores.

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The app is intended to better identify the corona infection chains. It is intended to ensure that the spread of the coronavirus does not increase sharply again when it is loosened for public life.

With the performance date Tuesday, a corresponding RTL / n-tv announcement from Friday was confirmed. According to further information, the app is said in the morning by Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), Chancellor Helge Braun (CDU) and representatives of the companies involved in the development – Telecom CEO Timotheus Höttges and SAP Chief Technology Officer ( CTO) Jürgen Müller – to be presented.

Owners of a suitable smartphone can voluntarily decide whether they want to install the warning app or not. The app can also be deactivated or uninstalled later.

The app uses the short-range radio Bluetooth to measure whether users of the app have come closer than approximately two meters over a period of 15 minutes or longer. Anonymized identification numbers are transmitted every two and a half to five minutes. The location of the encounter is not recorded. If a user tests positive for Covid-19 and shares this information in the app, the other users are informed that they have been near an infected person in the past.

The start of the app was originally planned for the end of April. At this point, the federal government decided not to commission the project team but the companies SAP and T-Systems with the implementation.

Chancellor Braun conceded omissions in the development of the app. “From today’s perspective, we should have made the decision to entrust the companies with the technical implementation of the Corona app ten days earlier,” said the CDU politician Welt am Sonntag. Braun also spoke of differences in the original project team that would have prevented quick success.

A multi-level data protection concept was implemented for the app. The Federal Data Protection Commissioner, Ulrich Kelber, praised the app. “What is present makes a solid impression overall,” he told the Saarbruecker newspaper (Monday). “It is particularly important to me that the relevant data protection documents, in particular the data protection impact assessment, are ready when the app starts.” They should be public from the first day in order to create trust and acceptance among the population, says Kelber.

The data protection officer further emphasized that the next phase of the necessary work will begin after the publication. “I am confident that the companies involved will address open issues and any knowledge that may arise as soon as possible.” Only then would enough citizens participate.

After extensive tests, the developers of the Corona Warning app are confident that the planned distance measurement via Bluetooth radio will also work in everyday life. “We are now convinced that we have a good solution that you can start with – even if we know that it is not perfect,” said SAP Manager Müller of the German Press Agency.

The Fraunhofer Institute IIS in Erlangen tested the German specific scenarios: sitting in a restaurant, standing in line, staying on public transport. It was measured how precisely the smartphones recognized the distance. “We will learn even more in real life,” said Müller.