Facts and Findings

Phone tracking against COVID-19

by Jason Chumtong

Using digital technology against an analogue virus

The countries of Asia diligently use mobile phone data and thus identify routes of infection. We too? Yes, but only in accordance with fundamental rights. How do you rate the German way?
  • The combination of GPS tracking and AI-supported big data analysis can facilitate the recording of movement patterns and networking of groups of people. This accelerates the traceability of infection chains.
  • The Asian model of using and storing personal data is not possible without seriously interfering with the privacy and fundamental rights of the citizens.
  • Instead of following the Asian approach, the European project focuses on privacy-preserving proximity tracing (PEPP-PT). This is a voluntary, anonymous and privacy-protecting tracking system based on Bluetooth technology. It has been designed to work across national borders. The idea is to find a balance between public health and privacy protection.
  • With PEPP-PT, Germany and Europe are sending an important signal for a value-based approach to technology that can serve as a model for a modern constitutional state in times of crisis. It also enables the gradual easing of restrictions on movement.

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About this series

The series informs in a concentrated form about important positions of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on current topics. The individual issues present key findings and recommendations, offer brief analyses, explain the Foundation's further plans and name KAS contact persons.


Dr. Kristin Wesemann


Leiterin Stabsstelle Strategie und Planung

Kristin.Wesemann@kas.de + 49 30 26996 3803

Marianne Graumann

Teamleiterin Publikationen, Print und Qualitätssicherung

marianne.graumann@kas.de +49 30 26996 3726 +49 30 26996 53726