The federal government has released details on the launch of the Corona warning app. At the same time, demands for a legal basis are becoming louder.
The Development of the Corona warning app cost around 20 million euros. The Federal Government announced on Thursday afternoon in Berlin. In addition, there would be operating costs of up to 3.5 million euros per month. A large cost block is the telephone hotline, through which those affected in the positive test case are to be verified. This had to be available around the clock and in languages such as German, English and Turkish.
They still didn’t want to commit themselves to a specific start date for the app. The app will be presented in the coming week, it said. The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is currently examining the last weak points in the system. An overall assessment could be made on Friday evening.
At the same time, demands for a legal basis for the app became louder on Thursday. There is concern, for example, that workers could be forced to use the app – or suffer disadvantages if they refuse to do so. Both employee representatives and the opposition in the Bundestag want to prevent this by means of a legal regulation.
“This would not only be a confidence-building measure, but also desirable in terms of legal security for everyone involved,” said the Greens Bundestag Vice Konstantin von Notz the Handelsblatt. “We are curious to see whether the federal government, as with many other topics before, still giving in“It is the opposite of the always emphasized voluntariness if employers make the use of the app mandatory.
The Greens in the Bundestag had already requested a legal basis for the app in early May. The four green Justice Ministers of the federal states also submitted a draft law.
Von Notz now sees himself in a letter from Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Ulrich Kelber, to the Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) confirmed. “I suggest that in the event of a legal regulation such illegal behavior be punished with a penalty,” it said in the letter from last week, which is available to the Handelsblatt.
The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) has also spoken out in favor of legally excluding an app requirement. “An explicit clarification that the use of the app always remains voluntary is of central importance for acceptance by citizens – in both private and professional contexts,” the DGB informed the Handelsblatt. A ban on discrimination is the right instrument for this.
It must also be ensured that employees do not have to fear financial losses and labor law measures if they stay away from their work due to the app warning. “In any case, you also need a claim to full wage replacement – regardless of whether the employer or the state finances it,” it said. “Every reasonable employer should refrain from such pressure instruments in their own interest.”
In many activities that are carried out in a narrow business environment, employees could in principle track back with which colleagues they had contact without an app. However, the app can be particularly useful where there are contacts with anonymous third parties, for example in local public transport, on the way to work or in activities with intensive customer contact.
“It needs a transparent and trusting exchange about the advantages and disadvantages of using the app, but also about what it cannot do – for example, to replace occupational safety and health in the company,” demanded the DGB.
The Federal Association of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) called on the federal government to clarify open questions. “The use of an app to make it easier to understand contact persons can make a contribution to health protection in companies and help to break the chain of infection,” the BDA told Handelsblatt. “However, the prerequisite for their application must be clear. To do this, we expect that open questions about such an app will be answered before the start. ”
The CDUMP Tino Sorge does not believe that a legal basis is currently necessary. “Of course, citizens in the constituency speak to me and ask whether the Corona app could not be used indirectly,” he told Handelsblatt. “At the moment, however, we don’t have to be afraid of it.” But he has great confidence that society will adhere to the principle of voluntariness. “As legislators, we will of course watch this closely.”
Federal Minister of Health Spahn, on the other hand, confirmed that the government is not striving for any further legal basis for the app. In the General Data Protection Regulation, everything that is necessary is clearly regulated – for example, on voluntary and express consent for every use of the data. The coalition partner sees the same thing SPD.
In the FDP With regard to this debate, there is already concern that the app could be delayed further. He had the feeling that the app should be delayed further with the demands for a legal basis, said the digital policy spokesman for the FDP, Manuel Höferlin, Handelsblatt Inside. “Maybe to bury her in the end.”
It is crucial that the app really comes next week. “Because compared to our European neighbors, we are lagging far behind with the publication.”