Aarogya Setu app means “bridge to health” in Sanskrit. This app is the Indian corona virus tracking mobile application developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIS) and that is governed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It is mandatory for all the government employees and private sector employees to download.
The purpose of Arogya setu app is to outspread the cognizance of COVID-19 and to connect paramount of COVID-19 – related health services to the people of India. It is a tracking app which needs the smartphone’s GPS and Bluetooth features to track the infection that is coronavirus. The app is available for both Android and iOS mobile operating systems. With the help of Bluetooth, it tries to determine the risk of corona virus – by scanning through a data of known cases all over India. It determines whether the location of the person belongs to one of the infected areas according to the data available.
BENEFITS OF USING AROGYA SETU APP
Aarogya Setu App is available on – Android and iOS. The app is available in 11 languages – English, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, Oriya, Gujarati, and Marathi. The benefits of using Aarogya Setu App are the following:
• This App works on Bluetooth and GPS -based technology and tracks the risk of the COVID-19
• It gives the information in case if any person crossed paths with the positive COVID-19 case within 6-feet.
• The app recommends several measures, self assessment measures, do’s and don’ts. And how to maintain social distancing in the times of global pandemic.
• This app could also be an e-pass facilitating for the users who travel from one place to another.
• In case, a user is at high risk the app advices to go to the nearby testing centre and call the toll-free number 1075.
• The app is also equipped with a message box that answers all questions regarding COVID-19.
ISSUES OF AROGAYA SETU
• India is the only nation in the world that has made its COVID 19 tracking app mandatory for people.
Before the app was made mandatory, it should be under the authority of law, and it have to satisfy the necessity and proportionality test for the violation of privacy – this will look, what is the data being collected, how long is it stored for and what are the protocols in place.” According to “The Internet Freedom Foundation”-“Critically, India lacks a comprehensive data protection law, outdated surveillance and interception laws, or any meaningful proposals for meaningful reform.
• Aarogya Setu uses the phone’s Bluetooth and GPS to track the user’s movement, making it vaster than other such apps. This app collects multiple data points for personal information which enhances the privacy risks.
• Alderson had last week pointed out an issue in the app “I was able to see if someone was sick in a specific house if I wanted’ and it breaches the data – he said, But the government strongly repudiate any data breach and declared that this app is safe.
• There is no liability for the Government even if personal information of the persons who are using this app is leaked. The government is not liable if the app provides inaccurate information or shows false information.
HOW TO FIND IF YOU HAVE COVID 19 SYMPTOMS USING AAROGYA SETU APP?
Once you have downloaded the app you are require to register yourself with it and you have to give certain information which is necessary for app to self-assess you.
Following is the step by step procedure for self-assessment.
1. Open app and click on self-assessment button which will be on bottom of your screen.
2. Certain question such name, age, gender, profession, countries travelled in last 30 days etc. will be generated and you are required to answer those question.
3. The app also requires current medical condition of user for ex if you have fever, cough or breathing problems then you have to select one of these.
4. Next question will be about any past disease such as diabetes, lung problem, heart disease etc.
5. At the end once you are done it will show your test and it will recommend you to take a self-assessment test if you develop any of the symptoms of coronavirus.
This process of registering yourself and self- assessment is simple if any person has any query relating covid19 then app has message box which answers all question.
AAROGYA SETU APP ON PRIVACY ISSUE?
At the time of registering in app individual is required to give certain information which according to app will not be shared with anyone except with the government. The app only aims to control the spread of coronavirus. The personal information of an individual is send to the government only if he is at high risk of catching coronavirus.
French hacker Robert baptize released a statement alleging that app is not safe and has privacy issue in respond of which the developers of the app issued statement stating that app is safe, personal information of an individual is not shared with anyone and there are no privacy issue hence the statement of French hacker is baseless.
According to Aarogya Setu app “No personal information of any user has been proven to be at risk by this ethical hacker, we are continuously testing and upgrading our systems”
A joint letter has been sent by lawyers, entrepreneurs, citizen to central government and ministers of respective state and union territories. The letter states certain issues such as:
• Access to personal information is violation of right to privacy guaranteed under article 21.
• India does not have any law regarding protection of personal data of individual so how can you assure us that our data is protected.
• The liability limitation clause of terms of service states that government will not be held liable for any incorrect information generated by the app and for “any unauthorized access to the user’s information or modification thereof”.
India is the second largest populated country in this world and if coronavirus spreads it will be impossible to control it. To resolve this issue government launched Aarogya Setu which will assist in controlling the spread of coronavirus. The app has been downloaded by 100 million people till now. This app will help citizens to be protected against coronavirus. Many issues and question were raised by people regarding this app but most of them have been clarified by the team of Aarogya Setu app. According to them app does not have any privacy issues and data will be protected they are trying regularly to monitor and upgrade it. At this point it is important to co-operate with government rather than raising objections.
Author: Anjali Thakur,
Gitarattan international business school ip university