Now, the Corona App is coming: what you need to know about the Covid-19-Tracing

The much-anticipated Corona-Warning App will be available tonight for Download – with some delay, but the blessing of the data protection and hardly more expensive than planned. What the App can do, how you use it, and whether it is safe, read here.

Actually, it should already be in April so far that Smartphones in Germany should contribute to the management of the Corona-crisis. However, it took until technical problems, demarcation disputes and doubts of data protection were overcome. Now the German Corona-Warn-App: Tomorrow, Federal Minister of health, Jens Spahn wants to introduce you to and the start of the free circuit, but is already evening, users can download it in the App Store.

According to the ARD Germany trend, 42 percent want to load the App on your Smartphone, almost as many (39 percent) do not have to do it. Perhaps it is that many people is quite clear what the Corona-Warning-App is actually. Here are the main answers.

  • All the information about the Corona-crisis you read in the News-Ticker of FOCUS Online.

What is the App good?

The purpose of the App is to understand who a Covid-19-Patient had contact before he was tested positive and quarantined had to go. You should help to identify Corona chains of Infection faster, track, and break through. The App virtually takes over the task of the health authorities with regard to the contact tracing. This can be very important, if there is a second wave, the fear of some experts for the autumn or Winter.

A user is tested positive, and this Status is in the App captures, be informed of the other user via Push notification that you have on a certain day in the vicinity of an Infected stopped. No one learns, however, who these people were. What are the warnings and recommendations users can get from the App, was not at the time of publication not yet clear. Even the health authorities could not yet provide information and would in the course of this day learn more, so Ute Teichert, Chairman of the Federal Association of the Physicians of the Public health service.

How does it work?

The App records when two Smartphones with the same function have longer than 15 minutes and closer than two meters stopped. Via Bluetooth is transmitted in short intervals an identification number in the surrounding area. At the same time the phone picks up Bluetooth signals from other. Users who have both run the App on hold for a certain period of time, side by side, exchange the Smartphones of their IDs. After two weeks, all contacts are deleted, and the ID-exchange begins anew. In order for the App to work, you must turn on the Bluetooth function.

Marcel Salathé, a Professor of digital epidemiology at the ETH Lausanne emphasized, however, that the measurements via Bluetooth are always accurate: “There will be security errors, so-called false positives’, where the App says two people have come close, although these were actually quite far away from each other, and vice versa. You have to be Clear that here, too, a blur is there.“

  • Discuss it with: Finally finished – what do you think of the Corona App?

On which Smartphones is the App can be installed?

The iPhone, the latest iOS 13.5 minimum requirement. In the case of Android phones needs to be supported for a Bluetooth LE. The is Android 6 the case. To other but need to run the Google Play Services. Android phones without Google Play Services, such as the latest Huawei models, that are not included.

How to get the App on my Smartphone?

You should download the Corona App only from the App Stores of Google or Apple. Users can register with the App established Hotlines for the Installation help. These also help in the entry of a positive test result in the App.

How is abuse of Positively excluded messages?

Positive tested users have to enter this Information in the App. In order to prevent Troll-messages, it should be only the verification through a Code. The Infected will get the unlock code from the Hotline. Alternatively, the Concerned can get a QR Code from the test laboratory if the laboratory is already equipped and you previously specify to use the App.

Am I obliged to install the App?

The use is voluntary. The exchange of anonymous contact IDs via Bluetooth only if you installed the Corona-Warning-App is voluntary and the data exchange agree. Privacy advocates point out that anyone with access to private spaces (Restaurants, shops) or transport (Taxis) shall be denied without an App.

The App also works abroad?

The Interaction of App with other European States is not yet secured. This Problem should be after the publication of the German App increasingly addressed.

Neighbouring countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria, like Germany, on the Google and Apple defined the concept of a decentralized storage of anonymised contact details on the smartphone itself. The exchange should be easy. France, by contrast, has opted for a Central storage of contact data and of the technical concept of Google and Apple accrued. Here, it would be difficult, a cross-border compatibility.

When signals are exchanged, then the battery faster?

To prevent the technology, Bluetooth LE. LE stands for Low Energy (low power demand). The application should not already consume as much electricity as the Stream music to a Bluetooth speaker. The promise, at least, the developers of the App.

Is protected the privacy of the user?

It will not be exchanged, the identities of the users, but anonymous IDs, which can change several times in the hour. The IDs of the contact persons are not stored centrally, but decentrally at the respective Smartphones. Only the list of anonymized IDs of the Infected is kept on a Central Server.

A survey with more than 5000 participants in the non-profit organization “Data4Life” (the Initiative of the Hasso-Plattner-Institute) has shown that

  • 65% of the respondents , in the meantime, your health and exercise data (heart rate, fever, pre-existing conditions; Location, distance measurements) donations would.
  • about three-quarters of them would be motivated, with your data donation to curb the Covid-19 spread to contribute.
  • two-thirds of them expect that such faster a vaccine will be developed can.

For comparison: In the case of a representative survey of the German Bundestag in September 2019, only 38 percent of the participants were willing to make their data available for research.

The App is generally safe?

The developer and the Federal Ministry of health say: Yes. There is no data to be tapped from the Smartphone. But A research team from three German universities has shown in experiments under real-life conditions that an external attacker with detailed movement can identify profiles of Covid-19-Infected-create and, under certain circumstances, the affected individuals. On the other hand it is by so-called Relay attacks are possible to manipulate the contact tracing and to affect the reliability of the contact tracking system.

How much does All this cost the taxpayers?

The development of the Corona-Warning-App of the Covenant by the software group SAP and Deutsche Telekom, has cost about 20 million euros. To do this, operating costs in the amount of 2.5 to 3.5 million euros a month. The bulk of it is attributable to the operation of two Hotlines at Deutsche Telekom. In the call centers, the users should end up in long queues. In addition, the Service will be available not only in German but also in English and Turkish.

How many people need to use the App, so that the contact tracing work?

A study from Oxford says that the full effect is achieved only then, if 60 percent of the population or more to participate. However, this will not be likely to reach, including the Minister Spahn is now, the forced the Corona-Warning-App. In the case of an ARD-survey, only 42 percent of Germans wanted to install the App, 39% were explicitly against it. Experts point to the fact that each Installation counts, and effects may be seen at a significantly lower rate of achieved. That would be the 42 percent that had been in the ARD survey.

How successful the App will be in the end, hanging out but also of how useful the information you give out in the end, in the case of a suspicion, believes Cornelia Betsch, Heisenberg-Professor of health communication at the University of Erfurt. “Because it deals with questions such as: to Get Concerned over the App really clear instructions and specific instructions on how you with the warning to handle it, so whether or not you should go now in a 14-day self-isolation or directly with the test?”

Marcel Salathé notes, in turn, on the Interaction of App and your users: “Whether the App has advantages over the normal contact Tracing, also depends much on how a test-positive Person dealing with their diagnosis, whether it is at all ready, your test result in the App to specify, and to warn others, or not.”

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