Posted by Richard Willet Posted on 6 April 2020

Is India Fighting COVID-19 the “Mass Surveillance” Way?

In addition to a country-wide lockdown, India is has been experimenting with technology that will help them control the spread of COVID-19. On April 2, the government launched its COVD-19 mobile tracking app, Aarogya Setu. The app, which alerts users when they are within six feet of a person infected with the coronavirus, is creating major concerns about potential digital security issues.

Aarogya Setu users sign up using their mobile phone number and can add personal details as well as past travel history. A feature allows users to perform a self-assessment if they suspect they might be infected with the virus.  It also alerts government authorities if a person’s tracked details — such as recent travel to any country with high infection rate or medical symptoms — draw suspicion. The app was developed by the National Informatics Centre under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) who claim that data they collect will only be shared with government agencies. Google Play store has already registered more than one million installations of the app.

Read More: Is India Fighting COVID-19 the “Mass Surveillance” Way?

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