Aarogya Setu, the COVID-19 monitoring app launched by NITI Aayog, has crossed the 7.5 crore (or 75 million) downloads mark. The app was launched on April 2 and has been quickly rising ever since. The information was shared by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) officers throughout a evaluate assembly. In keeping with a press release by MeitY, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Sanjay Dhotre, feels this app is “one of the vital necessary instruments in combating COVID-19.” The free app is obtainable for each Android and iOS. Notably, there have been some privateness issues with the app as properly, however that does not appear to stopped its development that has partly been helped by encouragements to obtain it by PM Modi and the Central Board of Secondary Schooling (CBSE), amongst others.
Dhotre additionally requested the officers to advertise the app as finest as they’ll. He expressed his satisfaction on the numerous efforts being made by totally different departments within the battle in opposition to coronavirus. The assertion learn, “The Minister was knowledgeable that 75 million individuals have already downloaded [Aarogya Setu app] on their cellphones. He referred to as this app one of the vital necessary instruments in combating COVID-19 and one of many lifelines for widespread individuals throughout this international pandemic. He requested the officers to make all out efforts to popularise the app.”
The assertion by MeitY additionally shared that the Minister is intently monitoring the Info Know-how (IT) and IT-enabled Companies (ITES) sectors and had detailed discussions with key officers concerning the gradual opening of those sectors after the lockdown ends. Dhotre additionally inspired officers and stakeholders to “orient IT resolution and companies in such method that advantages the widespread individuals most throughout this unprecedented disaster.”
The assertion cited Dhotre saying that the federal government has a “historic alternative” to serve humanity and it must be “utilised to the fullest and each effort must be made to convey reduction to the widespread individuals.”
The Aarogya Setu app makes use of the placement and Bluetooth knowledge of a consumer to inform them if they’re in a protected location or not. It additionally tells customers if they’ve are available contact with somebody who may have been examined optimistic for coronavirus.
Nevertheless, there have been some privateness issues over the quickly rising Aarogya Setu app because of the underlying system on which the app works. In keeping with a publish by Software program Freedom Legislation Centre (SFLC.in), the app collects delicate private knowledge like gender and journey info that’s then saved within the cloud. The workforce at SFLC.in shared, “Furthermore, the App constantly collects the placement knowledge of the registered consumer and maintains a file of the locations the place the consumer had are available contact with different registered customers.” Notably, the app additionally restricts reverse engineering – stopping safety researchers from discovering out precisely what sort of privateness points it may need. There have been different issues as properly concerning using GPS knowledge.
We additionally had a dialogue with Arnab Kumar, Program Director, Frontier Applied sciences for NITI Aayog who responded to a few of the privateness issues raised by SFLC.in and Web Freedom Basis.
To recall, Arogya Setu app crossed 5 million downloads within the first three days because it launched. In about 13 days, there have been 5 crore customers of the app. Now, it has seen greater than 7.5 crore downloads in lower than a month. This meteoric improve in downloads since launch has been credited to promotions by Division of Telecom (DoT), CBSE, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.