Is Aarogya Setu A Surveillance App? Experts Give Some Answers, Flag Some Concerns – By Govindraj Ethiraj

The Government of India has launched an app, Aarogya Setu, that sits on your smartphone if you download it, then shares data about you via Bluetooth and GPS to a central server… there is ratification from mobile devices, sharing with the central backend, which is also collecting location data, and not using it for a user to just know what is happening, but the government or rather the public health authorities can look at potential hotspot tracking or location tracking. There is much more data that they collect, perhaps than in many other places. 

Why I am cautious about this is that, one, it does have implications. For example, even currently, it is not just about the data stored on your phone, it is about the data stored centrally at the government’s end, whether it is the NITI Aayog or some other agency. 

This data is currently under the control of the NIC, even though the servers are not in the NIC, the data is being controlled entirely by the NIC – this is a Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) app (NIC works under the MeitY).… the ministry of health is a stakeholder, but the entity responsible for maintaining the app and making sure that it works the way it is supposed to is the NIC, inside the MeitY.

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