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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Smartphones could soon come pre-installed with Aarogya Setu app: Report

Indian government has urged smartphone makers to pre-install the Aarogya Setu app by default on all smartphones. This means if you buy a new phone you will need to first set up the app and then use the phone.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 30, 2020 10:27:50 pm
Aarogya Setu, Aarogya Setu download, Aarogya Setu coronavirus, Aarogya Setu compulsory, govt employees Aarogya Setu, Aarogya Setu COVID-19, Aarogya Setu privacy concerns Aarogya Setu could be pre-installed on smartphones soon, coming to feature phones too (Express Photo: Sneha Saha)

The government of India is constantly urging everyone to install the Aarogya Setu app on their smartphone. Millions of people have already downloaded the app while others still don’t have it on their device. According to a new report coming from Mint the Indian government has urged smartphone makers to pre-install the app by default on all smartphones. This means if you buy a new phone you will need to first set up the app and then use the phone.

The report further stated that the government ordered phone companies to have Aarogya Setu pre-installed long ago but due to the halt in manufacturing it couldn’t be followed. But the companies are said to fulfill the order as soon as the lockdown lifts.

The government of India hasn’t made an official announcement regarding the initiative as of yet. However, it could be true giving how several firms like Zomato are making it mandatory for the delivery agents to download the app, and only then they can log in to their Zomato app.

Also Read: What is Aarogya app? How does it work?

Aarogya Setu app: Latest developments

The Aarogy Setu app is developed to track users coming in close contact with high-risk people or COVID-19 positive individuals with the aim to prevent the spread of the virus. The app is now mandatory for all central government employees to download on their phones. The order noted, “Before starting for office, they must review their status on ‘Aarogya Setu’ and commute only when the app shows ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’ status.” It also stated that anyone with “high risk” or “moderate” results should be at home and not step out.

Aarogya Setu app has been downloaded by nearly 75 million people around the country but with this move, the Indian government wants to ensure that all the leftover people also have the app on their smartphone so that their movement can be traced. A source from a smartphone company and another from the Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT) confirmed this to the Mint.

Also Read: How to set up Aarogya Setu app

The Aarogya Setu app users Bluetooth and location data of the user to trace their movement and alerts when they come in contact with a high-risk person. But for the app to work properly everyone must have it installed on their devices and have it activated at all times. Users are also required to keep the Bluetooth and location options turned on all the time.

Given the Arogya Setu app records user data a lot has been talked about its security and privacy concerns. Niti Ayog CEO Amitava Kant in a previous interview clarified that the Aarogya Setu app keeps the record of a person with ‘safe’ status on its server for 30 days while data of users with ‘high-risk’ status will be on the servers for 60 days. Kant also clarified that the user data will be kept safe and not shared with any third party platform.

The app is available both on Google Play store as well as Apple App store. The Aarogya Setu is also being built for feature phones and will be soon available to them.

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