Home » Luca App: the president vigorously defends the benefits of his software

Luca App: the president vigorously defends the benefits of his software

Corona pandemic
Luca App: the president vigorously defends the benefits of his software

Entry sign with reference to Luca . app

Checking in with the Luca app is now mandatory in many locations.

© Paul Zinken / DPA

The Luca app has received a lot of criticism since its appearance in the app stores. in conversation with strict Patrick Hennig, President of Luca, explains why its software functionality and security are often misunderstood.

Error groups like Luca failed or a Twitter- Thread From Manuel Atoge, member of the Chaos Computer Club, sheds light on the Luca app. The program is supposed to help authorities keep track of contacts and limit the spread of the coronavirus in a legally compliant way. But IT and security experts often criticize security, programming, or simply what they see as terrible implementation costs, which, if there is any doubt, hardly help offices long overwhelmed. The noble intention to make the work of health authorities easier and to interrupt chains of infection safely and quickly takes a back seat when looking at the programme.

But is this just because of the app? Or rather to use it? Perhaps the fault and therefore the source of all the misunderstanding is actually sitting in front of the screen. President Luca Patrick Hennig appreciates strict– Interview the situation and thus also react to recent criticism from Bianca Kastl, who argues from the point of view of Luca makers from a competitor’s website. when project manager Kastl works for the innovation association “Public Health” Iris ConnectAccording to the manufacturer, “a gateway system that makes the best possible use of the digital contact tracing capabilities of health authorities.”

Bianca Castel Rhombus Luca Recently ineffective. Parallel to this interview with Luca boss Patrick Hennig appeared network policy The next critical report on the app, which reports on the possible intentions of manufacturers and plans what could happen in the future with 40 million installs on smartphones of German users. So the allegations are endless.

Mr. Hennig, what bothers you about the club’s statements, and how do you assess the situation?
Parts of the Chaos Computer Club categorically criticize Luca as it goes against the principle of centralized data storage. Our distributed encryption system has proven that: So far, not a single contact in our system has fallen into the hands of unauthorized persons. Bianca Castell, who has recently publicly criticized Luca, is also not an independent expert, but is involved in the development of the competing product “Iris connect”.

What specific benefits does Luca provide for government offices? where do you work?
The first condition of health authorities To Luca – and what the federal states paid for – was the digitization and secure transmission of communication data, including an encryption system developed jointly with Fraunhofer AISEC. The Department of Health only requests data in the event of an infection. Only after three parties have released their keys – the user, the company and the health department – can the responsible health department access the contact details and issue a warning.

Our numbers show that the system is in use: in the previous 28 days birthday We recorded nearly 28 million check-ins across Germany and more than 33,000 warnings from health authorities within 14 days.

How many inquiries do you receive as an office operator?
In the 28 days before Christmas, health authorities began 354 contact tracings, that is, data requested from the sites Luca used. Since May last year, health authorities have asked restaurants to provide contact details more than 3,500 times. Currently, 323 out of 375 German health authorities are linked to Lucca.

Was there any demonstrable success in following up on communications that ideally occurred within a short period of time?
The great added value of Luca is that on the basis of the history of the individual visit it is possible to trace exactly where the contact with the infected person occurred. The details of the location and conditions on the site are the most important information, without which no ordinary person or health department can assess the risks.

Since May last year, health authorities have issued more than 550,000 individual warnings after assessing the individual risks of conditions at the site.

The city of Hamburg pays 137,119.68 euros per month to hire 18 employees who are hired specifically for thousands of data inquiries. Does it make sense?
Hamburg In our view, she is a role model in the use of digital tools in the fight against epidemics. In light of the epidemiological situation, staff mentioned the work to trace contacts and use Luca as well as other digital tools. For comparison: the major health departments in Hamburg, Munich and Berlin alone have hundreds of employees in contact tracing.

“Without Luca, the staffing shortage in offices would be even greater”

What the team in Hamburg does is a consistent pooling of knowledge and resources on a specific digital topic. But they are not employees who were hired because of Luca. On the contrary: without Luca, more people would have had to be employed to ensure contact tracing.

What specific developments are happening – perhaps in the background – that would make Luca more effective? How do the authorities help?
In order to put the health authorities at ease in times of extremely severe accidents, we have developed the Luca system – initially into Luca+ and now we are starting to implement Luca connect. Users can use it to share their vaccination and 2G status in the app with the responsible health department. This allows health authorities to focus more specifically on the contacts most at risk of infection as well as contact them directly via the app.

What after the application? Will there be other jobs in the near future, for example, restaurants that go beyond contact tracing? If the answer is yes, which one?
We regularly receive requests from restaurateurs to expand the functional scope of Luca and have already partially complied with these requests: for example, we have greatly simplified checking the status of 2G and 3G in the operator application and added additional convenience functions, such as the screen from menus in the Luca application. However, we are always aware of our responsibility for the security of users’ data.

Finally: are federal states already making efforts to extend licenses with Luca as quickly as possible? Or in other words: who is going out?
The epidemic is developing very dynamically and Omikron should have made it clear to all of us at the latest that the epidemic is far from over. As a result, no one can predict exactly what the situation will look like in April. So far we have not had any specific talks with any federation. Our focus is now on helping out as needed.

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