A Review of India’s Contact-Tracing App, Aarogya Setu
The Government of India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) agency launched Aarogya Setu, a contact-tracing mobile application. Aarogya Setu has been created by the National Informatic Centre (NIC) in response to the COVID-19 crisis, as a way to collect and understand public health-related data 1.
The application uses mobile phones to perform a cross reference of individuals’ data with the database held by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which was specially created as part of ongoing COVID-19 testing infrastructure. The purpose of Aarogya Setu is to notify users whether they have been exposed to COVID-19, by checking their proximity to known patients. In the event of a match, the application will warn other users in the area that an infected person is in their proximity. According to the press release dated May 26, 2020 available on mygov.in website, roughly 114 million users have adopted the app 2.
Aarogya Setu also collects some sensitive personal information including gender and recent travel information. This has raised privacy and security questions. This whitepaper evaluates the functionality and data privacy aspects of the application.
About Aarogya Setu
Aarogya Setu app is a self-assessment disease monitoring app launched by the Indian government. The app is available in 11 languages, including Indian regional languages 3. It is a digital service that is designed to augment the government’s initiatives to generate awareness among the population about COVID-19. It provides best practices to stay healthy, medical advisories and guidelines related to COVID-19. The aim of this app is to enable early detection and prevention of potential risks caused by COVID-19 infection.
2: https://static.mygov.in/rest/s3fs-public/ mygov_159050700051307401.pdf