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Indian Government launches Aarogya Setu app to track Coronavirus infections

(Image credit: Future)

While there is no shortage of official and unofficial coverage surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the Indian government has just released an application named Aarogya Setu to track infections more actively and accurately. The app is available on the Play Store on Android and App Store on iOS with support for up to 11 Indian languages. Note that we didn’t find the app through the search at the time of writing this article.

This new move from the government is an effort to limit the spread of the disease to new areas using technology. The app will also act as a database of all the relevant public information about the novel Coronavirus.

(Image credit: Future)

Besides the main tracker feature, the app also lets you take a quick test to check if you have matching symptoms. It also gives alert notifications if you come, even unknowingly, in the vicinity of an infected person. However, your movement data will need to be tracked regularly to ensure the service works as intended.

Upon first install, you’ll be asked to select a language and allow permission to use Bluetooth and GPS for tracking data. After that, a mobile number will be required to authenticate your entry, and then some personal data such as name, gender, age, profession are collected, which is skippable. The app in and of itself is just a one-page resource with a collection of official information regarding the virus that can be helpful to users.

What about Privacy?

The app has recently raised concerns in privacy-focused groups because of its data collection and location tracking policies. While the government says that the app allots a unique identifier to every user hence making his/her identity anonymous, it is possible to re-identify people, said Frederike Kaltheuner, an independent Mozilla Tech Policy fellow. Also, the user data will not be shared with “third-parties”, but it could be shared with as many agencies as the government sees fit, as per the privacy policy. There are also concerns about the lack of clarity on who can access the data and how long it will stay on government databases. 

Because of these unclear guidelines, it is theoretically possible that collected user data might be used in the future for purposes other than medical emergencies.     

Where to download the Aarogya Setu app?

Do note that there are many third-party applications on the Play Store with the term “Aarogya” or “Arogya” in them. Download only the official Android version of the app, and the iOS version is available as well. Apart from the Aarogya Setu app, the government has an official portal, MyGov.in, that also has updated essential information related to the virus.

Via (The Next Web)

Abdul Q

Abdul Q is a Content editor at Techradar India. Formerly.