On Github, the developers from SAP have published a first concept of the planned German tracing app. The actual app should be ready in mid-June.

The planned German app for tracking infection chains in the coronavirus pandemic is taking shape. On Wednesday, Europe’s largest software company SAP and Deutsche Telekom published a first concept on the open source platform Github. The tracing app is to use Bluetooth technology to log in the smartphones of its users who has been close enough long enough to be considered a risk contact. If a user is later tested positive, his app contacts can be notified anonymously.

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The documents now published indicate that users should also be able to find out the result of their own corona test via the app. “If a test is carried out for a SARS-CoV-2 infection, the app user can start the digital test information process via the app and thus be notified of the test result,” it says. However, you should only be able to be informed that a result is available, but not whether you are infected or not.

In an introduction to the project, Telekom and SAP, which are commissioned by the federal government, write that they are using knowledge and program code from three existing projects. It is based on the protocols DP3T, TCN and the specifications from Apple and Google for iPhones and Android smartphones. DP3T was developed by researchers from the EPFL universities in Lausanne and ETH in Zurich, among others. The TCN Coalition came together through a federal government hackathon called #WirVsVirus.

The app should be ready in mid-June

The documents also show how the roles are distributed between SAP and Telekom. Accordingly, Europe’s largest software company takes care of the development of the actual app. Telekom provides the network and mobile technology and is designed to keep operations safe and stable. The actual app for iOS and Android is not yet available on Github. It should be released for general download in mid-June. The companies have promised to “only process the necessary data – only for the purpose of letting users know whether they have been in close contact with other, already infected users – without revealing their respective identities”.

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The Greens parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Konstantin von Notz, welcomed the publication. However, this could only be a first step towards more transparency. The announcement to disclose the source code of the app “promptly” must be implemented as soon as possible.

Manuel Höferlin (FDP), Chairman of the Bundestag’s Digital Agenda Committee, welcomed the fact that German know-how will also be used to develop the app with TCN. “I now hope that the app will be available as soon as possible. Otherwise there will soon be Europe-wide tracing apps with German technology, except in Germany.” In the afternoon government survey, Höferlin formulated this point slightly differently. He asked Chancellor Merkel whether the app might only be available after a vaccine. The Chancellor’s answer: Certainly not.

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer meanwhile spoke out against tax benefits or other benefits in order to persuade people to use the app. “If the citizens have the impression that they are waving bacon, then not enough people will take part,” said the CSU politician. It is better to explain soberly that part of the measures to contain the corona pandemic could be relaxed for everyone if a large number of people would use such an app. The use of the app must be absolutely voluntary, emphasized Seehofer. He said: “What I don’t want you to talk about being a volunteer, but discussing so many incentives that you can no longer speak of it.”

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With material from dpa