After weeks of discussions and preparations, the new federal corona warning app is now available for download for smartphones. The German government presented the new application at a press conference in Berlin on Tuesday. Right at the beginning, Chancellor Minister Helge Braun (47, CDU) chose big words and spoke of a "big step for fighting the pandemic". Braun is sure that the app is "the best".
Health Minister Jens Spahn (40, CDU) emphasized that the use is voluntary in all respects and gives recommendations instead of instructions. The app is an "important tool in containing the virus". But you have to consider that it is not a panacea. Everyone must continue to be careful to keep their distance, to wear a mask and to observe the hygiene rules. Even if, according to Spahn, a false alarm cannot be ruled out during use, the minister considers the app to be extremely successful: "The app is safe, voluntary and easy to use. Hardly any more."
This is how the app works
Via Bluetooth, the app recognizes whether two smartphone users have been closer than two meters over a long period of time. To do this, the app sends an anonymized identification number (ID) to the environment every few minutes and checks whether it receives Bluetooth signals from other smartphones. If this is the case, the anonymous IDs are exchanged and stored decentrally, i.e. only on the smartphones concerned – and not on a server as initially planned. Anyone who tests positive for Corona will receive the result from the test laboratory in the form of a QR code or a TAN, which they must then enter in the app. All users who have stayed in the vicinity are then warned and advised to be tested.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (70, CSU) praised the "safety and quality of the app at the highest level" at the press conference. The most important thing for him is the "identification of an infection and the interruption of an infection chain". Downloading and using the Corona warning app is voluntary. In a current survey, 53 percent would do that in Germany, 39 percent are against the use and 9 percent are still undecided. However, according to a British Oxford study, to use the app effectively in the fight against the corona virus, they would have to use at least 60 percent of people.