Germany has changed its approach to contact tracing apps that aim to help limit the spread of coronavirus. On Sunday, government ministers announced the country now supports the “decentralized” approach, as advocated by Apple and Google (via Reuters).
Coronavirus Contact-Tracing Apps Must ‘Guarantee a High Level of IT Security
In a statement, Head of the Chancellery Hele Braun and Health Minister Jens Spahn said:
This app should be voluntary, meet data protection standards and guarantee a high level of IT security. The main epidemiological goal is to recognize and break chains of infection as soon as possible.
There had been increasing concern that the apps, which monitor who someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 has been in contact with via Bluetooth, will lead to high-levels of surveillance. However, on Friday, Apple, which is partnering with Google to develop the technology, outlined a number of new privacy provisions. The politicians’ statement indicated that the German government is now supporting the approach adopted by the companies.