Within 41 days since its launch on April 2, the Aarogya Setu app has crossed the 10-crore registered users’ mark. The app was predicted as the ultimate solution for contact tracing; due to privacy concerns, the app has been in the eyes of critics. The Aarogya Setu app was disseminated by the policy think tank NITI Aayog in collaboration with a team of government agencies and citizen volunteers.
By crossing the registered mark within 41 days of its launch, the app has become one of the world’s fastest-growing apps. It was started as a voluntary solution initially; however, as time progressed, it became mandatory.
In addition to its popularity on the part of registered users, the Aarogya Setu app has also become the top free app on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Also, its team is ready to expand its reach by introducing support for Jio Phone and enabling non-smartphone users with an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) facility.
The government has made it mandatory for all government and private employees to have the Aarogya Setu app installed on their phones. The guidelines released by the Ministry of Home Affairs recently mentioned that ensuring 100% coverage of the app among the employees will be the responsibility of the head of the respective organizations.
Likewise, travellers who are choosing passenger trains to travel amidst the lockdown are expected to install the Aarogya Setu app. It was also made mandatory for the workers who supply food and other essential commodities. The Noida police have recently started to enforce the use of the app. All of this has played a significant role in increasing its usage.
Although the government and various private organizations are encouraging the use of the Aarogya Setu app to restrict the country’s coronavirus outbreak, experts have raised concerns about privacy. Groups including the Software Freedom Law Center, India (SFLC.in) and the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) have highlighted problems such as the use of location monitoring alongside Bluetooth connectivity and the lag in open-sourcing its code.
Nevertheless, the NITI Aayog has so far ensured that the data provided by the Aarogya Setu app is safe and stable, and is shared only with officials working on COVID-19. Also earlier this week, the government released a set of data processing rules baring data storage for more than six months and establishing a prison term for violators.
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Bhavana is a Senior Content Writer handling the GST vertical. She is committed, professional, and has a flair for writing. When away from work, she enjoys watching movies and playing with her son. One thing she can’t resist is SHOPPING! Her favourite quote is: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.