The Aarogya Setu app by the government has reached the milestone of five crore users in just 13 days of its launch. The app, which is projected to enable contact tracing to limit the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in India, was released on April 2. In three days of its launch, the Aarogya Setu app had crossed the milestone of 50 lakh installs. Amid the growth in terms of new users, the Aarogya Setu app has also raised some privacy concerns.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Wednesday announced the latest milestone for the Aarogya Setu app that was launched earlier this month as the government’s main app for contact tracing in the country. Notably, the app appears to have added one crore new users within 24 hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi encouraged its download while addressing the nation on Tuesday.
In addition to the prime minister, various government authorities and educational boards such as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have promoted the Aarogya Setu app.
The Aarogya Setu app is available for download on both Android and iOS devices. It supports various Indic languages — alongside Hindi and English. Users need to provide Bluetooth and location access to let the Aarogya Setu app perform its functions to track the spread of COVID-19 in the country. It asks a set of questions to the users to identify whether they are at the risk of the coronavirus infection and also informs them if they’ve met with someone who’s tested COVID-19 positive.
Shortly after the launch of the Aarogya Setu app, the India division of the New York City-based Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC.in) alleged that it collects sensitive personal data such as a person’s gender and travel information that it stores in the cloud. The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) also mentioned a paper released earlier this week that the app “lacks transparency”.
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