After updating the application, users of the Corona-Warn-App are asked to submit further, partly personal data to the RKI. The so-called data donation is voluntary and is intended to help evaluate the effectiveness of the app and to further improve it.
The innovations come with the update to version 1.13.2, which is currently being rolled out for the Corona app. In addition to the data donation, the developers have also integrated a link to a scientific survey by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
Survey only for users with increased risk
The RKI survey is not available to all users of the Corona warning app. The link to the survey is only displayed if they have received a warning of an increased risk of infection, i.e. the display in the app lights up red. “Help us improve the app by answering a few simple questions,” it says in the appropriate window. In the survey, the RKI would like to know, for example, whether users are planning to change their behavior compared to the time before the risk warning, for example to limit themselves more or to avoid certain contacts. This, according to the statement, allows those involved in the project to further improve the app based on user feedback.
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Data donation via Corona app
Another and much more extensive point in the update for the Corona app is the data donation. It is also used by the RKI to obtain more information on analyzing and improving the app. The transmission is completely voluntary and must first be activated in the settings by users who are at least 16 years old. You can also revoke your consent there at any time.
If the data donation is active, the app asks for more detailed information on the whereabouts of the users, i.e. in which federal state or district / district they are moving. You can also enter the approximate age, with the three age groups 0-29 years, 30-59 years and 60+ to choose from. The makers emphasize that the information does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about individual persons and that the privacy of the users is preserved at all times. Conclusions about contacts and movement profiles of the users cannot be made.
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Data donation in Corona app vs. Corona data donation
The new data donation function in the Corona app should not be confused with the RKI’s “Corona data donation” app, which sounds very similar. In this app, too, users transmit data anonymously and encrypted to the institute, but the data sets are somewhat different. For example, the “Corona data donation” requests data from fitness trackers and smartwatches in order to quickly identify symptoms of a possible Covid 19 disease. Such a wearable is therefore a prerequisite for using this application.
Activate and deactivate data donation in the Corona app
If users want to activate the data donation and provide the RKI with the information they want for analysis, they can do so immediately after updating the app to version 1.13.2. The application automatically displays the corresponding window after the update. Activating or deactivating the data donation is also possible via the settings of the Corona warning app. Users can find this via the symbol with the three dots at the top right of the app. If you click here on “Settings”, you will find the new item “Data donation” at the bottom of the list.
The transmission can be switched on or off using a slider. The data donation takes place in the background and completely automatically. If users are not in the WLAN, but in the cellular network, the network operators may bear any costs incurred for the transmission, provided that users use a German SIM card.
Other small adjustments in the update
There are other innovations in the Corona app, which are significantly smaller compared to the data donation. For example, there is now a new tab for the contact diary so that users can open it more conveniently and quickly. In addition, the Corona warning app now contains detailed information on the test procedure.