Mainz police Luca COVID-19 tracing app data theft

Occurred: January 2022

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Police in the German city of Mainz stand accused of illegally using data from a COVID-19 tracking app to trace the contacts of a man who died leaving a restaurant. 

Seeking witnesses of the incident, Mainz police (Polizeipräsidium Mainz) tapped into data from Luca, an app that helps track the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany by registering time spent in restaurants and pubs. 

The app also logs the patron's full name, address and telephone number, information that is protected under the country's data protection laws.

Prosecutors apologised in the wake of complaints by local politicians, rights advocates and citizens. The local data protection authority has opened an inquiry. 

Operator: Culture4life; Polizeipräsidium Mainz
Developer: Culture4life  
Country: Germany
Sector: Govt - police
Purpose: Track COVID-19
Technology: Application
Issue: Privacy; Security
Transparency: Privacy; Legal