Aarogya Setu App is a mobile tracking app developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) for COVID-19. NIC comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The app is available in 12 languages and is available for both Android and iOS platforms.
The app crossed 5M downloads within 3 days of its launch and it also became the world’s fasted growing app with 50M installs in 13 days after the launch.
Functionality of Aarogya Setu App
The Aarogya Setu app is aimed to create a better tracking system and maintain a better record system of people who are infected with the COVID-19 and protect the other people living in high-risk zones.
The app has the following sections:
- Your Status: Tells you the risk of getting COVID-19.
- Media: It has some clips from the government and celebrity influencers that provide info related to COVID-19.
- COVID Updates: Shows the graphs of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic sorted by nation and state-wise record of patients.
- E-Pass: Yet to come
- Self-Assessment: Assessment to check for symptoms and risk of getting COVID-19.
How Does the Aarogya Setu Work?
The App uses the phone’s Bluetooth and GPS functions to track the users. It keeps a record of every Aarogya Setu app user nearby using Bluetooth. It also uses GPS logs of the device every 15 minutes.
The records are stored and if any user confirms symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive then the records are sent to the servers. In this way it can inform the users within 500m, 1km, 2km, 5km, and 10km of the potential hazards.
Privacy Concerns Related to Aarogya Setu App
The privacy concerns were raised by many as the Aarogya Setu app uses Bluetooth and GPS to track the location of users. It is also mandatory for some groups to keep the app in their devices as they are at considerable risk of getting the infection. It is also likely that the app will be in-built in most of the smartphones from now onwards and will also be mandatory for people living in containment zones.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused Aarogya Setu app to be a ‘sophisticated surveillance system’.
Popular French hacker Robert Baptiste also tweeted about finding security issues in the app and called the Aarogya Setu app on twitter and asked them to contact them privately. In response, Aarogya Setu released an official statement that they had a conversation with Baptiste, and after talking it was clear that what was projected as a flaw by Baptiste was by design.
Also, the Indian government said that the Aarogya Setu is privacy-first by design.
In conclusion, as of now, the app is not mandatory for everyone and if you are worried about your name, age, or any personal data then the Government already has the record of everything. And if you are at the risk of considerable risk then it is advised that you install the app and keep yourself safe. The confidential data tracked, and issues of privacy can be dealt with later.
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