Aarogya Setu, despite several concerns and controversies over security issues, has been downloaded by over 10.5 crore users in India.

Pranav Hegde

Earlier today, Apple and Google released the Exposure Notification API that can be used in contact tracing apps for tracking COVID-19 cases. The contact-tracing tool, however, is incompatible with India’s Aarogya Setu.

Aarogya Setu uses location data as a mode to track and trace individuals infected with the coronavirus, and this is one of the key reasons why the Apple and Google Exposure Notification API tool will not work with the app.

The Exposure Notification API will only use the smartphone’s Bluetooth functionality for tracking coronavirus cases. Both companies said privacy and preventing governments from using the system to compile data on citizens was the primary goal. The system uses Bluetooth signals from phones to detect encounters and does not use or store GPS location data. The API prohibits access to location data over privacy-related concerns. 

When two people are in close proximity, the devices will share an anonymous identifier. If an individual is tested COVID-19 positive, the device will transmit a list of people the user came in contact with and alert them. The companies further state that the identification key does not include any location data.

The guidelines further state that Apple and Google will not share any location data of users unless the user has been reported COVID-19 positive or they have come in contact/ proximity with a coronavirus patient. This could be the reason why despite the Exposure Notification API being launched, it is not available in India.

courtesy Money Control