The coronavirus tracking app Arogya Setu was “protected” and did not violate any privacy; the Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday. He also said that dismissing allegations that it was a “sophisticated surveillance system” used to track citizens without their consent. Describing the app as a “prominent preventive measure” in India’s fight against the Covid-19, an official statement said that according to information received; about 90 million users had downloaded it by first week of May. The IT Minister told on Wednesday, “It is totally safe and secure for every Indians”.
Elliott Alderson, a French hacker and cyber security expert, claimed that the app contained “a security issue” and “the privacy of 90 million Indians was at stake” and that the government’s statement came a day later.
“It is a platform for India’s technological innovation – the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, our scientists, NICs, policy commissions and some private entities – to help fight Covid-19,” said IT Minister.
The Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has complained that the Arogya setu application is a “sophisticated surveillance system, outsourced to a private operator, with no institutional oversight”. He added that it’s raises serious data protection and privacy concerns. Gandhi said that, “Technology can help keep us safe; but every Indian citizen should not use fear to follow them without their consent”.The Union Home Ministry said, this mobile application is essential for people living in Covid-19 zones. The mobile app helps to identify contacts in a person’s infected event, said Prasad. He also told “It’s a very interesting invention of technology and many other countries are using similar applications to fight Covid-19”. And the second most of thing is limited data. Routine data lasts up to 30 days and in the event you become infected, then (for) 45 to 60 days. Then it will automatically disappear”, he explained.
Prasad said there is always an option to scratch or uninstall the app from the phone.
He said, The Aarogya Setu application is for only smart phones. We have created a Aarogya Setu IVRS for feature phones. This app is absolutely robust in terms of privacy protection and safety and security of data”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is urging people to download the Aarogya Setu application on your smart phone and saying it is a great use of technology to fight the corona virus. According to the Union Home Ministry, it is mandatory for all public and private sector employees present in the office to download the app.
The app notifies you if someone around you is suffering from Covid-19. It also lists help-desk numbers from different states,”Prime Minister told in multiple tweets last month.
Rejecting Alderson’s claim, the government said “no user’s personal information has been proven to be at risk by this ethical hacker”.