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Published On: Sat, May 2nd, 2020

Rahul Raises Security Concerns Of ‘Aarogya Setu’

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Rahul-Gandhi-1024x683NEW DELHI : Hitting out at the Centre’s Aarogya Setu App, senior  Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday, stated that the application raised serious data security and privacy concerns.

Rahul added that the application was a sophisticated surveillance system, outsourced to a private operator, with no institutional oversight.He said that while technology can keep us safe, it must not track citizens without their consent.
On Friday, the Ministry of Home Affairs amended its guidelines for the extended lockdown in India till May 17. In the notification issued by the MHA, the Centre made the use of its contact tracing app Aarogya Setu mandatory in containment zones and for all public and private entity employees.
While the Centre has hailed the app as adhering to global standards, several Opposition leaders and privacy experts have raised issues with it. Technology can help keep us safe; but fear must not be leveraged to track citizens without their consent,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted today.
The Centre’s Aarogya Setu App is currently being used for contact-tracing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The application uses  Bluetooth and GPS data of the user to collect surveillance for contact tracing in Containment Zones. While it was not mandated before, the Centre has now made its download compulsory, raising security concerns and legality issues.
Experts state that the app’s usage of GPS-based location data is gaining more date than what is necessary. Moreover, experts state that the location data is not used by the app on an individual basis, but on an aggregated basis. Data analysts have also questioned why the Centre has not made the source code of the app available for examination by the larger technology community
The app that was meant for voluntary use when it was launched in early April has been made a must for all private and government employees. If a private firm employee is found without the app on their phone, the head of the company will be held responsible, the centre has said.
“The Arogya Setu app, is a sophisticated surveillance system, outsourced to a pvt operator, with no institutional oversight – raising serious data security & privacy concerns.
Those working from home, however, need not use the app. The centre has set a target of achieving 30 crore app downloads in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, responding to Mr Gandhi’s criticism, said the app is a “powerful companion which protects people”.”Daily a new lie. Aarogya Setu is a powerful companion which protects people. It has a robust data security architecture. Those who indulged in surveillance all their lives, won’t know how tech can be leveraged for good!” Mr Prasad tweeted.
(With Agency Inputs ).

 

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