New function of the Corona warning app, but it doesn’t get any better

The campaign via the Corona warning app should ensure high user numbers

picture alliance / SVEN SIMON | Frank Hoermann / SVEN SIMON

At the start of the new year, the Corona warning app also got a new version with an additional function: a digital contact diary will help to keep track of who you have met in the last 14 days. had previously reported exclusively on the plans. However, users have to add their contacts manually.

“Although the new function requires a certain amount of additional effort, it ultimately helps the health authorities to trace infection chains more quickly,” says the Corona Warning app blog. Users of the app should imagine the new function as a handwritten note or a Word document in which they record contacts from the past two weeks. In the event of a positive corona test, the user can send their contacts from the app to the relevant health department.

Submit contact lists – but voluntarily

It is based on the voluntary nature of the users: Both for transmitting their own contacts to the office and for people who may not want to be mentioned with their full name in a contact diary. Its own level of data protection is already built in: the app automatically deletes all contacts after 16 days, as there is generally only a risk of infection for 14 days. And: The data is only saved on the respective smartphone and only transmitted to the health department when the user actively does so.

The contact diary is available with version 1.10 of the app. iOS users can download these as a manual download from the App Store, users of Android phones have to wait until the app offers the upgrade on its own. The Corona warning app has been available for smartphones in Germany since mid-June and was developed by SAP and T-Systems on behalf of the federal government. The costs for the development amount to around 20 million euros. Including maintenance, security, network, hotline and further development, these could increase to around 69 million by the end of 2021.

The problem: Despite the current 24.2 million downloads, many people still do not use the app because they consider it unsuitable in the fight against the pandemic. This is the result of a nationwide survey on behalf of the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg, which is available to the German Press Agency. 33 percent of the non-users stated that the app was of no use. “That shows how important it is that we increase functionality,” said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens). The app is far from reaching its full potential.

58 percent do not use the app

In the survey, only 36 percent of the slightly more than 1,000 respondents said they had installed and activated the app at all. 58 percent said no. 6 percent said they did not own a smartphone.

Through the contact diary, the app is now to become “an active, daily companion”, “in order to curb the spread of the pandemic,” says the official app blog. It remains to be seen whether this will succeed.

Henning Tillmann, co-chairman of the digital association D64, was one of the first to discover the new contact diary and shared his experience on the short message service Twitter: “The CoronaWarnApp finally has a voluntary contact diary in which people and / or locations can be noted relatively easily. Good! “What would be missing, however, would be the” optional push reminder in the evening, otherwise the diary would quickly be forgotten. “The user interface is also still inadequate. Tillmann: “Unfortunately, the diary in the CWA can only be accessed after scrolling (bad UI).”

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