Will Germans trade privacy for coronavirus protection?

Asian countries have used digital tracking to fight the new coronavirus, while Europe has put its faith in social distancing. Germany's government is debating how much privacy should and can be protected amid a pandemic.

Should Germany concentrate more energy on digital surveillance in the fight against the new coronavirus?

Spahn pointed to South Korea, saying, “We have seen how South Korea, a democratic country, was able to fight the virus using cellphone data.” […]

Less privacy, more freedom?

Spahn predicted that “anyone looking for a way to get away from all the personal limitations we are currently experiencing cannot help but arrive at the idea of tracing contacts — that is, cellphone tracking.”


In Stein’s view, the entire cellphone tracking debate is a distraction: “Cellphone tracking is impractical.

‘Absurd border closures’

In Asia, it isn’t just virologists and epidemiologists who fight health epidemics […] software specialists are part of the team. Citizens there are also far less critical when confronted with issues of personal data security[…] Han says that has to do with Confucian and authoritarian […]: “People tend to trust the state more. […] see themselves as a collective; individualism is far less pronounced.”

There’s an app for that


Article submitted by, µthos.