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Source: The post is based on the article “What happened to your data on Aarogya Setu?” published in Indian Express on 10th February 2023
What is the News?
The Government of India has said that all contact-tracing data collected via the Aarogya Setu mobile application has been deleted.
What is Aarogya Setu?
What happened to citizens’ data on Aarogya Setu?
In accordance with the Aarogya Setu Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocol,2020, the contact tracing feature of the Aarogya Setu mobile application has been discontinued and contact tracing data collected through it has been deleted.
Note: Aarogya Setu app collected personal details like a person’s name, phone number and gender, along with having access to their live location and Bluetooth.
What were the concerns with the Aarogya Setu app?
There were primarily two concerns:
Firstly, Aarogya Setu was initially mandatory for rail and air travel, among other things, and the concerns raised around this were that people availing rail services for instance, may not own a smartphone which was necessary to use the app.
Secondly, people also raised privacy concerns given the nature of the data the app needed to function. While the government claimed the data was encrypted and anonymised, it was unclear what anonymisation protocols were being used.