The Government of India has India launched Aarogya Setu mobile App, on 2nd April 2020, for helping the efforts of limiting the spread of COVID19 through tracking and alerting the citizens about their risk of infection to COVID-19. The App offers a comprehensive suite of interventions against COVID-19. It uses Bluetooth and GPS features of smartphones to track the infection. It helps in determining whether the person has been in close contact with any other infected person or not. In this article we shall look into the Aarogya Setu App Information such as key objectives, various features, how contact tracing works, the Colour Code on Aarogya Setu App Home Screen, Privacy features and concerns of the App, and other information. Government initiatives to deal with COVID-19 such as Aarogya Setu App, PM CARES Fund are important topics for all competitive examinations such as UPSC, SSC, RRB, Banking exams, etc. We shall go through this article in detail.
Aarogya Setu app was extensively download and used by the citizens of India. With in a month of launch there were about 114 million registered users, two-thirds have taken the self-assessment test to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19. The Government has also released the source code of the app on Github and also announced Bug Bounty Programme in order to collaborate with security researchers and build trust. The mobile app has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Aarogya Setu App Information – Objectives & Key Features
Objectives of Aarogya Setu
The Aarogy Setu was developed keeping in mind the following objectives:
- To spread awareness of the novel Coronavirus outbreak among Indian citizens.
- To augment the Government of India’s initiatives, particularly the Department of Health, in proactively reaching out to the users and informing them about the risks, best practices and relevant advisories relating to the containment of COVID-19.
- To establish a connection between the government and the people of India for health services, facilities and updates from the health ministry nationally and state-wise.
Key features of Aarogya Setu
The key features of Aarogya Setu include:
- Automatic contact tracing using Bluetooth
- Self-Assessment test based on ICMR guidelines
- Risk Status of User
- Geo-location based COVID-19 statistics
- List of ICMR approved Labs with COVID-19 testing facilities
- e-Pass integration
- Updates, advisory and best practices related to COVID-19
- Nationwide COVID-19 statistics
- Emergency COVID-19 Helpline contacts
- Support for 12 Languages
Where to download Aarogya Setu App?
You can download Aarogya Setu App from the PlayStore (for Android devices) or the AppStore (for iOS devices).
You can also download the App from the following link: https://web.swaraksha.gov.in/in/.
Aarogya Setu for feature phones and landlines
1921 IVRS Aarogya Service has been launched for users with feature phones and landlines. Users of Feature Phones and Landlines can give a Missed call to 1921, after which they will be called back and aske the self-assessment questions, which are similar to the ones on the Aarogra Setu Mobile App
Aarogya Setu contact tracing – How does it work?
The Aarogya Setu app on your phone detects other devices that have the Aarogya Setu app when they come within the Bluetooth proximity of your phone. When this happens, both the phones securely exchange a digital signature of this interaction, including time, proximity, location and duration. This data is stored on the device of all individuals. In the unfortunate event that any of the people that you came in contact with during the last 14 days, tests positive for COVID-19, the App calculates your risk of infection based on the number of your interactions and the proximity of your interaction and recommends suitable action. This action is displayed on your Home screen. Your updated risk of infection is analysed by Government of India, to facilitate suitable medical interventions, as and when required.
Aarogya Setu Colour Code on App Home screen
The Home Screen of teh Aarogya Setu App has four classifications signifying increasing risk of infection: Green, Yellow, Orange and Red.
Green – Safe or at Low Risk of Infection
- Either you haven’t met anyone who has been tested COVID-19 positive or
- You haven’t declared any symptoms and conditions related to COVID-19 during Self-Assessment or both or
- You haven’t taken the self-assessment yet
Low Risk of Infection
- You have come in contact with a tested COVID-19 positive but at a relatively log distance or for short duration or
- You have declared any mild symptoms or conditions related to COVID-19 during Self-Assessment, then you may be shown at a low risk
Yellow – Moderate risk of infection
- You may have met someone who has been tested COVID-19 positive but your interaction was limited and socially distant or
- You have indicated one of the symptoms or conditions related to COVID-19 during Self-Assessment.
Orange – High risk of infection
- You have recently met someone who has been tested COVID-19positive and you came in close proximity with that someone during the meeting and/or for a significant period of time or
- You have indicated symptoms and / or conditions related to COVID-19 during Self-Assessment.
Red – You are tested COVID-19 positive
Aarogya Setu Privacy Issues and Concerns
What personal information does Aarogya Setu collect?
To register for the App, you are needed to provide your mobile number. In addition, you are also asked for your name, gender, age, profession, countries visited in last 30 days and willingness to volunteer in times of need. This information is encrypted and stored on the Aarogya Setu server.
Privacy Features built into the Aarogya Setu
Aarogya Setu has been developed with “privacy-first by design” as a key principle. Aarogya Setu has implemented some of the best and widely accepted privacy features and practices, including anonymization, data minimization, purpose and use limitation and data retention principles.
The 4 key ways in which Aarogya Setu protects the privacy of its users are :
- Personal information you provide at registration is immediately anonymized and all subsequent transaction are related to a specific Device Identification Number (DiD) that is assigned to you by the Aarogya Setu server.
- By default, all contact tracing and location information that is collected, is stored locally on your mobile device. This information is only uploaded to the Aarogya Setu server if you have tested positive for COVID-19. The location information is also recorded when you take the self-assessment and it is sent to the server along with your response to self-assessment.
- All contact tracing and location information stored on the mobile device and not uploaded to the Aarogya Setu servers is permanently deleted from the phone on a rolling 30-day cycle. All your contact tracing and location information that might have been uploaded to the Aarogya Setu server is permanently deleted 45 days from the date of upload, if you have not tested positive for COVID-19 within that period of time. If you are infected, all contact tracing and location information pertaining to you is permanently deleted from the server 60 days after you are declared cured of COVID-19.
Will Aarogya Setu inform other users of the App that I have tested positive?
Aarogya Setu does not reveal your personal identity or your medical condition to any other user of the App or to the public at large. The Government of India may, for the purpose of implementing suitable medical and administrative interventions, contact persons you have come in contact with but will not inform them of your identity or your condition.