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Short Update: German Police Union rejects criticism over police access to COVID-19 data

FT Admin - August 5, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Surveillance, Rule of Law

The German Police Union ("Polizeigewerkschaft") has rejected criticism about its use of data collected to track the spread of COVID19 in criminal investigations.

As reported in our short update of 29 July 2020, since mid-May, there has been a requirement in Germany for people to leave their name, address and telephone number when they visit public places such as restaurants. These so-called 'Corona guest lists', allow people to be contacted if there are cases of COVID-19 linked to the venue.   However, as reported in Die Zeit, police officers in Bavaria, Hamburg and Rhineland-Palatinate have accessed this data in criminal investigations.

The Police Union has said that the German Code of Criminal Procedure ("Strafprozessordnung") in principle allows the police to use information from the Corona guest lists of restaurants. Representatives of the Police Union have stated that the decision to use these lists for criminal investigations was not taken by individual police officers, but ordered by the Public Prosecutor’s Office or a judge.

"One of the central tasks of the police is to avert dangers and prosecute crimes," said the deputy chairman of the Police Union, Jörg Radek. "This may include the possibility of viewing documents such as Corona guest lists."

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected]

 

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