Aarogya Setu app that was launched in March of 2020 to tackle the community spread of pandemic COVID-19, was encouraged to be downloaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the addressed the nation on Tuesday. The app enable contact tracing using smartphone location and Bluetooth have crossed of 5 million installs in just 3 days of its launch. Since the app is using smartphone’s GPS and Bluetooth to identify the potential spread of infection, it can be used by used to exactly trace the location of the user and the app asks to allow the location tracking even in the background.
“Download the Aarogya Setu mobile app to help prevent the spread of [the] corona infection. Inspire others to download the app as well,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation.
This was not the first time when Prime Minister has encouraged the download of Aarogya Setu app. He even posted on social media a few days back, the link to download the app for both Android and IOS devices.
Additionally, the Aarogya Setu app download has been promoted by various commercial banks by sending a text message to their customers urging them to download the app that has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). The initial push helped the app to be downloaded over 5 million times from the time it was launched. As tweeted by the Program Director of Frontier Technologies at NITI Aayog, earlier on Tuesday, the app crossed the mark of 40 million active users within two weeks of its launch.
The Aarogya Setu app was also praised by World Bank and similar app is being developed by Singapore to place same limit on the community spread od Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from all the good this app bring, the way Aarogya Setu works has raised a lot of privacy concerns. The India division of the New York City-based Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC.in) said that Aarogya setu collects sensitive personal data such as a person’s gender and travel information that it stores in the cloud.
Nonetheless, as per the latest mention by the Prime Minister on India, the app will boost in downloads as we saw in the past, with Coronavirus Whatsapp chatbot that crossed over 1.7 crore users in the short period of 10 days of its launch.