Aarogya Setu App: more than 73,621 users from Nagaland

Dimapur, May 02 (NE): Aarogya Setu, Bluetooth & GPS technology based contact-tracing App developed by the government of India has been playing a major role in its fight against COVID-19 pandemic. It is reported that more than 73,621 users from Nagaland are already using this mobile app.

Experience from world over indicates that most people infected with COVID-19 Virus remain asymptomatic for around 2 weeks even though they have the virus. During this period there is a high probability of them infecting those with whom they come in contact with.

Based on this, Government of India (GoI) has launched the Aarogya Setu App that works on Bluetooth Technology to find out who an infected or high risk person might have come in contact within the last 2 weeks and take necessary action to protect people from being infected with Corona Virus.

In a report to NagalandExpress by the man behind the idea of Aarogya Setu App, representing GoI, Shri Abhishek Singh, IAS, CEO, MyGov, said the core offering of the App is contact tracing done through Bluetooth & GPS. The App detects other devices with Aarogya Setu app installed that have come in Bluetooth proximity of one’s phone and captures this information.

In the unfortunate event of any of one’s recent contacts (people that one have interacted within the last fourteen days) testing positive for COVID-19, the App calculates one’s risk of infection based on recency and proximity of interaction and recommends suitable action, which will be displayed on the Home screen. Information is also sent to health authorities to proactively administer appropriate medical intervention.

The App built with privacy as a core principle:

– The App requires users to enter their mobile number and certain personal informations at the time of registration. All personal information submitted is securely encrypted and stored on the server.

– On registration, the App assigns users a unique, anonymized, randomly generated Device ID. The linking of device ID to mobile number is one time, and is securely encrypted and stored in a server. All future interactions from device to server is done through device ID only, no personal information is exchanged post the registration. Thus, all processing of contact tracing and risk assessment is done in an anonymized manner.

– When a user come in proximity of other people with this App installed, the App stores encrypted information of this interaction in a secure manner on user’s mobile only. Information of social interactions is NOT sent to the server in most cases, except when user have come in contact with someone who later has been diagnosed high risk or the self-assessment categorises user at risk.

– Government of India will use user’s information ONLY for administering necessary medical interventions. User’s data is NOT used for any other purpose. No third party has access to data.

– The App never reveals the personal identity of anyone. The identity of COVID-19 patients is NOT shared with public at large.

– All information on the mobile device is stored only for 30 days, post which such data is deleted. For all data stored on the server for non-risk users, data is deleted in 45 days. For at-risk patients, data is deleted in 60 days.

– User’s location data collected is also stored on their device only. The data is sent to the server only in case user have tested COVID-19 positive or user is at high / moderate risk of infection. User’s location data is not used on individual level, only on aggregated level – that too only to identify hotspots and the direction of movement of infection. User’s location data, on an aggregated basis, will be used to identify the locations that need to be sanitised and where people need to be more deeply tested and identify emerging areas where infection outbreaks are likely to occur. The location data is NOT used for any other purpose.

Further, it is said that the App is completely voluntary. Citizens are free to install and delete the App at their will. The App is an essential tool in our combined fight against COVID-19, and works best when more and more people are on the App and help us in efficient contact tracing, it said.

Currently, this app is available in 11 different languages. Also, both Android and iPhone users can download it from their respective playstore/iStore. There is no user registration fee or payment to use this mobile app, it’s free of cost.

To download the mobile app: Click here