But Saving People’s Lives Might Negatively Affect Their Data Privacy!

Cell broadcasts and other mobile phone disaster alerts are dangerous. Whoever does the broadcast has your data. You know, like your telephone number? And they could reach you if they wanted to, which is the point. To save your life, for example. But Germans don’t want that. After they save your life what happens then? What happens to the data? Who regulates it? A complete, unauthorized stranger could save your life next and nobody wants that. No, thanks. Data privacy comes first in this country, pal.

German authorities faced pressure on Tuesday to set aside longstanding privacy concerns and send mobile phone alerts directly to people in potential disaster zones following the devastation wrought by last week’s catastrophic floods.

Warnung per “Cell Broadcast”: Viele Länder setzten auf das System, das per Mobilfunk in Sekunden fast die komplette Bevölkerung erreichen kann. Deutschland aber wählte eine andere Technologie.

There’s An App For That

Not that anybody has installed it. But still.

After the German Deluge, a Flood of Political Recriminations – The Federal Office for Citizen Protection and Disaster Assistance did issue alerts on its app about coming floods, say officials. But critics say that a very small fraction of the German population has downloaded the app on their smartphones and that a much louder warning should have been sounded to allow local communities to better prepare for the deluge of midweek rain.

“For so many people to die in floods in Europe in 2021 represents a monumental failure of the system.”