Decoding Aarogya Setu: Data Protection and the Right to Privacy
The Law Review Anthology
8 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2020 Last revised: 20 Oct 2020
Date Written: July 29, 2020
After the efficacy of tactics deployed by several countries to enable “contact tracing” of individuals infected with the contagious corona virus (COVID-19), India came up with a mobile application called Aarogya Setu, which literally means “bridge to health” in Sanskrit. The App was launched on April 2 this year, and was downloaded by more than five crore users within 13 days, albeit there are several similar applications developed and deployed by local authorities. Once you install the app, it uses the phone’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and location data, to inform the users if they have been near a COVID-19 host, by scanning a server database owned by the government. However, without rapid testing and treatment facilities, such application, becomes a nuisance providing the threat of data breach or systematic surveillance. Thus, the app’s method for tracking the infected has been under lens for being invasive and violating data privacy norms.
Keywords: Privacy, Data Breach, Surveillance, Aarogya Setu, COVID-19
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