Contact tracking via app – equal opportunities and competition

Open letter to all Minister Presidents of the Federal Republic of Germany

Overath, 7.3.2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

RLE INTERNATIONAL GmbH, headquartered in North Rhine-Westphalia, is a globally active group company in the automotive, digitalisation and software development sectors. The company has, among other things, implemented a project in cooperation with the German Swimming Association (DSV) at the Olympic Training Centre in Hanover, which focuses on the topics of contact tracking and testing. It is especially designed for use within the framework of COVID-19. The tool / app is already successfully in use and combines all components currently available on the market. All sports venues (indoor and outdoor) are secured with the system, 100% contact tracking is guaranteed and the system is in running operation. The data already collected confirms that the concept is functional and can be adequately extended to a variety of other social areas, including an interface to the envisaged backend system SORMAS.

We have gained the impression that despite the presentation and marketing of functioning systems, politics and administration largely ignore such solutions. At the same time, we are registering a very high level of political attention for a contact-tracking app by the artist Smudo, which he has only recently been marketing in the media and with the help of his celebrity. From our point of view, a decision on the selection of an app must not be made on the basis of a “celebrity bonus”.

The statements of various politicians that can be perceived in the media suggest that a marketing-powerful preselection is already being made here without observing the legal requirements for public tenders. An exclusive introduction of the Luca app for nationwide contact tracing in the Corona pandemic would put other, equally qualified providers such as RLE INTERNATIONAL GmbH would be at a disadvantage.

It is correct that government agencies should carry out a tender and selection process and a clear definition of the required specifications. We would also like to point out that the now very well-known app only represents a part of the life situations that are in the leisure sector. We would be very happy to participate in such a tender and call on the politicians to ensure this and to make our participation possible.

For the reopening of shops, restaurants, swimming pools and all other places of public life, a proven and intelligent digital system for contact tracking must be chosen. A system that we offer on the market and that is open to interfaces, another added value that the Luca app project, for example, is closed to.

We ask for fair competition conditions and equal opportunities through a neutral evaluation procedure, without the competition-distorting influence of individual politicians.

We look forward to receiving your feedback in a timely manner.

With kind regards

Ralf Laufenberg
Managing Director & CEO

Birgit Wagner
In-house lawyer

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