India recently rolled out its own Aarogya Setu application for Coronavirus tracking in the country. Now, new reports suggest that the Indian government might ask smartphone makers to pre-install the application on new smartphones. The application has already crossed 80 million downloads on the Play Store. Also Read - Zomato mandates Aarogya Setu app for all its delivery partners
As per a report by LiveMint, the ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) held a meeting recently asking brands to pre-install the application to bring more users to it. The meeting was reportedly attended by several major smartphone manufacturing players. This includes Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Foxconn, and Wistron. Also Read - Central government fixes privacy flaws in the Aarogya Setu app
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The manufacturing factories of smartphones in India have been shut as of late since the first lockdown was imposed in the country back in late March 2020. With the end of the second lockdown and a third lockdown that will be brought to effect only in regions hit with the Coronavirus, the country will be looking to reopen the economy gradually. As a result, smartphone brands will be looking to resume production as well. Also Read - Aarogya Setu app has major red flags when it comes to security concerns
Back to the app, Aarogya Setu has been marketed heavily since its launch. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has mentioned the application in many of his regular addresses during the lockdowns. Further, Modi has even posted about the app on social media, encouraging people to download and use it. Government service employees were recently mandatorily asked to install the app and use it.
Aarogya Setu and privacy concerns
Meanwhile, the Aarogya Setu app has also faced its share of privacy concerns. The app reportedly failed to comply with global security standards at launch and was even called out for being a potential surveillance tool in the hands of the government. However, the app was later updated with fixes for some of the major security concerns. “The information that is collected from your App will be securely stored on the mobile device of the other registered user and will not be accessible by such other users. In the event such other registered user tests positive for Covid-19, this information will be securely uploaded from his/her mobile device and stored on the server,” the policy now reads.