The team at Aarogya Setu app on Wednesday stressed that no personal information of any user has been proven to be at risk and no data or security breach has been identified in the COVID-19 contact tracing app. Reacting to an ethical hacker’s claim that a security issue has been found in the app, the team said the app is completely safe. Also Read - हैकर्स के दावे को आरोग्य सेतू (Aarogya Setu) ने किया खारिज, कहा - पूरी तरह सुरक्षित है डाटा और एप
The Aarogya Setu team said the app fetches a user’s location by design and store the location data on the server in a secure, encrypted and anonymized manner, “when users submit their contact tracing data voluntary through the app of when we fetch tracing data of a user after they have turned COVID-19 positive.” It said that the radius parameters to spot COVID-19 positive patients are fixed and can take one of the five values: 500 meters, 1 km, 2 km, 5 km and 10 km. Also Read - Aarogya Setu app may soon come pre-installed in new smartphones in India
“The app user can change the latitude/longitude to get the data for multiple locations. Getting data for multiple latitude/ longitude this way is no different than asking several people of their location’s COVID-19 statistics”. Also Read - Zomato mandates Aarogya Setu app for all its delivery partners
All this information is already public for all locations and, hence, does not compromise on any personal or sensitive data,” said the app team. The app team encouraged users who identify any vulnerability to come forward and inform them. “We are continuously testing and upgrading our systems,” it added.
Downloaded by millions in the country, Aarogya Setu is a COVID-19 tracking mobile application developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The app is aimed at augmenting the initiatives of the Central government, particularly the department of health, in proactively reaching out to and informing the users of the app regarding risks, best practices and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19.
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Meanwhile, Indian government might ask smartphone makers to pre-install the application on new smartphones. The application has already crossed 80 million downloads on the Google Play store. As per a report, 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.