Corona Pandemic – Growing Interest in Location Data © Maxwell Ingham/Unsplash

In the wake of the Corona pan­dem­ic, in­terest in loc­a­tion data for the pur­pose of track­ing the move­ment of in­fec­ted per­sons is grow­ing in Ger­many and else­where. Pos­sible scen­ari­os in­clude the de­vel­op­ment of an app – cur­rently in pro­gress at the Robert Koch In­sti­tute, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports – and ac­cess to the data of large op­er­at­ing sys­tem pro­viders, as is cur­rently planned in the USA. Along­side the cla­ri­fic­a­tion of tech­nic­al de­tails, the ques­tion in­ev­it­ably arises as to the leg­al basis for such a meas­ure. Ac­cord­ing to Ralf Poscher, dir­ect­or at the Max Planck In­sti­tute for the Study of Crime, Se­cur­ity and Law and head of the de­part­ment of pub­lic se­cur­ity law, a leg­al found­a­tion that would per­mit the use of data on pop­u­la­tion move­ment does not presently ex­ist. “This would con­sti­tute an in­fringe­ment of the right to in­form­a­tion­al self-de­term­in­a­tion. The stat­utory re­quire­ments for spe­cif­ic in­trus­ive meas­ures are not part of the Ger­man In­fec­tion Pro­tec­tion Act”, the ex­pert ex­plained to the Sci­ence Me­dia Cen­ter. Should the le­gis­lat­or con­sider chan­ging the law, the amend­ments must in­clude re­li­able or­gan­iz­a­tion­al and pro­ced­ur­al safe­guards, which pre­clude the use of per­son­al data for pur­poses oth­er than fight­ing a pan­dem­ic. The pro­tec­tion of the in­di­vidu­al rights of the data sub­jects must also be ad­equately guar­an­teed.

For more in­form­a­tion please vis­it the Ger­man page.