C says ‘essential’ that all students, staff download Aarogya Setu

Constitutional News Courts      Kerala HC Defers Hearing On Plea Challenging Mandatory Use Of Arogya Setu App                   By India Legal

Constitutional News Courts Kerala HC Defers Hearing On Plea Challenging Mandatory Use Of Arogya Setu App By India Legal

Kant had previously also tweeted, claiming that the Aarogya Setu app was built as "privacy-first by design", largely in response to a recent claim by ethical hacker Robert Baptiste that the app was a government-backed public surveillance tool. This data was later used to alert those persons who may have come in contact with the people who tested positive.

Since its launch on April 2 this year, over 96 million people have registered with the Aarogya Setu health care application, which has become the fastest mobile app to reach 50 million users globally and will be one of the fastest entrant to the 100 million club. We provide this information to check an area from becoming a hotspot.

Till date, 9.8 crore people have downloaded the Aarogya Setu app, which has been made mandatory in COVID-19 containment zones.

Ajay Sawhney, Chairman of the Empowered Group 9 which deals with Technology and Data Management in the fight against Covid-19, said the app will soon reach a user base of 10 crore, as he gave an update on the use of the tool that enables better "contact tracing" - one of the key elements in fighting infectious diseases using a mobile phone's Bluetooth and Global Positioning System capabilities.

The data can also be shared with universities for research purposes only after delinking details that can identify individuals using the app, as per the government.

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The penalty clauses under the disaster management act have provisions for jail term for officials. "The Bluetooth interaction between two phones on which the app is installed is performed anonymously, using a randomised and secure Device Identification Number (DID) that has been assigned to the devices at the time of registration", added Kant. "Privacy is an important aspect of Aarogya Setu", Sawhney said.

Aarogya Setu, the mobile application to help track Covid-19 patients, has alerted around 140,000 users in the country about a possible risk of infection due to proximity to infected persons, an official said on Monday, even as the government mulled making this app mandatory for air passengers. Although, Kumar has confirmed that data of sick individuals are deleted in 60 days and for healthy people in 30 days.

The government has also issued a toll free number "1921" for those who do not have smartphones.

The UGC circular had said, "In continuation to UGC's earlier communication dated March 3, it is once again requested to Vice-Chancellors and Principals to... urge the teachers, non teaching staff, students, and society at large for downloading the Aarogya Setu App developed by Ministry of Electronics & IT".

"The protocol has been issued to bridge the legal gap and to address privacy related concerns", a MeitY official said.

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