umbai is in its 53rd day of lockdown; the rate of COVID-19 infections just doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Every day, the chart shows the rise but no control so far. With a majority of the 1.3 billion people confined to their homes and under lockdown, things don’t look like they will change any time soon. Though the people have lost patience and started on foot towards their home walking for thousands of kilometers, slums are full of the public without any masks or sanitizers. The city is widely exposed to infections, doctors, cops, nurses, officials, and even security guards who are infected with COVID-19. Amid this stress,
However, government sources said that the medical and health-related aspects of the app are “strictly in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” while largely focuses on the data aspect as the nodal department.
Purpose limitation has become a key point of concern among civil society activists — that the app could be used beyond the purpose it was created for and evolves into a “permanent architecture” without clarity and limits. It becomes problematic when there is collating of data on the central server, and once that gets entangled with other databases. We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, but once Promote health. Aarogya Setu application (“the App”) for Android and iOS platforms aim at providing users information as to whether they are prone to a COVID-19 infection by analyzing their proximity to COVID-19 positive persons. The app requires the user to submit the user’s geodata. It also uses Bluetooth to connect to other registered users and from the network thus formed, analyze whether the user has come in contact with anyone who has been tested positive. The app, as per its terms of service is intended to “notify, trace, and suitably support” a registered user regarding COVID-19 infection. The application collects personal information some of which is sensitive personal data such as a person’s gender, and travel information. So, it was necessary to scrutinize the App in these testing times. And we do have some concerns with the App. Violation of the law laid down by the Supreme Court– It is important to note that the Aarogya Setu app has been launched in the time of an ongoing pandemic, when the Governments are trying to maximize data collection, often at the cost of privacy rights of citizens. India does not have a law dealing with personal data protection, which should be limiting data collection, and processing. Lawyers, social activists, entrepreneurs, and concerned citizens, had recently sent a joint letter to various ministries of the Central Government and also the heads of states and union territories expressing concerns over the unwarranted and excessive collection of personal data during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic urging the various governments to follow law enunciated in various Supreme Court judgments.
One way that the government of India hopes to keep a track of the COVID-19 trends is via its Aarogya Setu app. Aarogya Setu app crossed 90 million downloads as of 4 May; Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself appealed to the citizens to download this app in his address to the nation but now it’s time to revive security concerns of people.
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