India orders Coronavirus tracing App for all workers
Aarogya Setu’(Health Bridge) app has been downloaded around 83 million times in total in India which has a smartphone user base of about 500 million
India has ordered all public and private sector employees use a government-backed contact tracing app and maintain social distancing in offices as it begins easing some of its lockdown measures in districts less affected by the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government said on Friday India, with the world's second-largest population after China, would extend nationwide curbs for another two weeks from Monday, but allow "considerable relaxations" in lower-risk areas.
India last month launched the Aarogya Setu app, a Bluetooth and GPS-based system that alerts users who may have come in contact with people who later test positive for COVID-19.
"Use of Aarogya Setu shall be made mandatory for all employees, both private and public," the Ministry of Home Affairs said late on Friday.
Company heads will be held responsible "to ensure 100% coverage" among employees.
The app has been downloaded around 83 million times in total in a country with a smartphone user base of about 500 million, according to the technology ministry.
The app's compulsory use is raising concerns among privacy advocates, who say it is unclear how the data will be used and who stress that India lacks privacy laws to govern the app.
"Such a move should be backed by a dedicated law which provides strong data protection cover and is under the oversight of an independent body," said Udbhav Tiwari, Public Policy Advisor for internet browser company Mozilla.
New Delhi has said the app will not infringe on privacy as all data is collected anonymously.
The app can help authorities identify virus hotspots and better target health efforts, the tech ministry told Reuters in late April, adding information would be used "only for administering necessary medical interventions".
Courtesy: The New York Times