How ‘Corona Apps’ Threaten Our Privacy

“Corona apps” are coming to Europe, to help governments in “trace and track” efforts to manage their coronavirus response. Tracking apps were already widespread in some
Asian countries before the now but privacy rights have largely discouraged their adoption in the West. 

Even in the face of a global pandemic, we shouldn’t rush to discard those privacy rights.

“Stopp Corona” was developed by the Austria Red Cross, and has the aim of reducing the time between the discovery of symptoms and the notification of social contacts. The app allows itself to “digitally handshake” people you interact with, and notifies those people if you happen to present symptoms, requesting them to self-isolate. The app now has more than 200,000 downloads, with growing popularity.

“Experts tell me: If the app obligation is limited in time and provided with a sunset clause, this is compatible with the EU data protection regulation and the constitution.” Those were the words of Austria’s parliament chairman Wolfgang Sobotka in an interview, when asked whether so-called corona apps should be made mandatory.  He also believes that the movements of those who have not installed the app should be limited.

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