The German government has released its own COVID-19 contact tracing app for iOS and Android devices.
The country abandoned the development of its own proprietary app and adopted the coronavirus exposure notification technology developed by Apple and Google. The new Corona-Warn-App comes on the heels of similar ones launched in Italy, Poland, and Switzerland.
“Everyone who downloads the app, and everyone who encourages friends to do so, is making a difference,” said health minister Jens Spahn on German ZDF television, reports Reuters.
The app was developed by Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, which has published its source code on GitHub to reassure people concerned about the privacy of their data.
“The app remembers our encounters with others in a decentralized manner and informs us digitally when we have had encounters with demonstrably infected people,” says the app description in the German iOS App Store (translated). “However, at no time does it collect information about the identity of its users. Who we are and where we are remains secret — and our privacy is well protected.”
A poll conducted by ZDF showed 42% of people planned to download the app, while 46% did not. 8% of respondents didn’t own a smartphone. Previously the German government had said that 60% penetration was needed for the app to work, but Reuters says the government is no longer specifying a target.