Aarogya Setu, the COVID-19 monitoring app launched by NITI Aayog, has crossed the 7.five crore (or 75 million) downloads mark. The app was launched on April 2 and has been promptly escalating at any time considering the fact that. The news was shared by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) officers all through a evaluate meeting. In accordance to a assertion by MeitY, the Minister of Condition for Electronics and IT, Sanjay Dhotre, feels this app is “one of the most essential instruments in combating COVID-19.” The cost-free app is accessible for both Android and iOS. Notably, there have been some privacy fears with the app as properly, but that would not appear to be to stopped its progress that has in aspect been helped by encouragements to download it by PM Modi and the Central Board of Secondary Training (CBSE), amongst many others.

Dhotre also requested the officers to endorse the app as very best as they can. He expressed his satisfaction at the various attempts getting designed by distinctive departments in the struggle towards coronavirus. The assertion read, “The Minister was informed that 75 million folks have currently downloaded [Aarogya Setu app] on their mobile phones. He known as this app one particular of the most essential instruments in combating COVID-19 and one particular of the lifelines for prevalent folks all through this world-wide pandemic. He requested the officers to make all out attempts to popularise the app.”

The assertion by MeitY also shared that the Minister is carefully monitoring the Info Technology (IT) and IT-enabled Solutions (ITES) sectors and had thorough conversations with essential officers about the gradual opening of these sectors soon after the lockdown finishes. Dhotre also encouraged officers and stakeholders to “orient IT remedy and expert services in this sort of way that benefits the prevalent folks most all through this unparalleled disaster.”

The assertion cited Dhotre saying that the government has a “historic chance” to provide humanity and it ought to be “utilised to the fullest and each energy ought to be designed to provide aid to the prevalent folks.”

The Aarogya Setu app makes use of the location and Bluetooth information of a person to inform them if they are in a harmless location or not. It also tells customers if they have appear in make contact with with somebody who could have been examined positive for coronavirus.

Having said that, there have been some privacy fears over the promptly escalating Aarogya Setu app due to the underlying system on which the app works. In accordance to a put up by Software package Flexibility Law Centre (SFLC.in), the app collects sensitive personal information like gender and journey info that is then stored in the cloud. The workforce at SFLC.in shared, “Moreover, the App repeatedly collects the location information of the registered person and maintains a file of the places where the person had appear in make contact with with other registered customers.” Notably, the app also restricts reverse engineering – protecting against safety researchers from obtaining out specifically what kind of privacy challenges it may possibly have. There have been other fears as properly about the use of GPS information.

We also had a dialogue with Arnab Kumar, Application Director, Frontier Technologies for NITI Aayog who responded to some of the privacy fears lifted by SFLC.in and Net Flexibility Foundation.

 

To recall, Arogya Setu app crossed five million downloads in the 1st 3 times considering the fact that it launched. In about thirteen times, there have been five crore customers of the app. Now, it has seen more than 7.five crore downloads in considerably less than a thirty day period. This meteoric improve in downloads considering the fact that start has been credited to promotions by Division of Telecom (DoT), CBSE, and Primary Minister Narendra Modi himself.