NIC: National Informatics Centre claimed that it did not create the COVID-19 Aarogya Setu app. National Informatics Centre claimed so in its reply to a RTI Query.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had earlier claimed that the Aarogya Setu App was launched by GoI in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. According to the IT Ministry, Aarogya Setu App was developed by National Informatics Centre in association with a private firm. National Informatics Centre is responsible for handling Government websites.
Show Cause Notices
Following the issue, the Central Information Commission has now issued a Show cause notice to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and National Informatics Centre. Also, the CIC has asked the NIC to explain in writing on how Aarogya Setu Application and its websites were created.
GoI had been encouraging the public at large scale to download the Aarogya Setu before entering theatres, hotels and other public places. At some of the Government offices, the Aarogya Setu was made mandatory as well.
Now, this has raised privacy issues as a vacuum has been created upon development of Aarogya Setu app.
Why the concerns?
- Usually before an Aarogya Setu is installed by a user, the developer asks for permission to access certain information of the phone.
- Aarogya Setu uses only the user permitted data obtained from the phone for its functioning.
- With the developer of the application become unknown, there are possibilities of illegal data retrieval from the users of the applications. Thus, the concerns are being raised.
Aarogya Setu is a contact tracing mobile application. The Aarogya Setu informs the user if he or she has crossed a COVID-19 positive patient. By this, the spread of the virus can be contained. It served as an e-pass for the workers to commute. The students giving exams in a common exam centre were asked to download the Aarogya Setu.
Since its launch, the Government of India did not provide concrete assurance that the centralised data would not be used for other purposes.
Aarogya Setu can fill their data like Traveling, quarantine and always on location. Through location app easily detect covid-19 patient if he/she once a covid-19 positive.
Who Created Aarogya Setu app issues