The government of India (GOI) released its official COVID-19 tracker mobile application just a few days back. Within three days of launching the app, it has now become the top free app on the Google Play Store as well as on the Apple App Store in India. It has also managed to hit 5 million installs on Google Play Store.
The AarogyaSetu app was introduced on both Android and iOS, aimed at primarily tracking the community transmission and tracing the contact and travel history of individuals that are quarantined, infected or suspected of being susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The app uses both the location data and Bluetooth-based proximity tracking on users’ phones, in order to keep a track of individuals that may have either been carriers of the COVID-19 disease or been affected by it.
Arnab Kumar, Program Director of Frontier Technologies at NITI Aayog, recently tweeted saying that the app has actually managed to gain close to 8 million installs. Now since the Apple App Store does not reveal the number of installs of the app, we can’t be too sure of that.
The application comes with an interactive COVID-19 risk management window which clearly states to users that information collected through the app will be used by the government of India to track and manage the COVID-19 spread throughout the country. It also offers a self-assessment test for users to take, which can be repeated through the app in case any symptoms are developed.
The app recommends that users keep location to always-on, as well as their Bluetooth connections, but does not state it as mandatory. In data sharing, it states, “The app does not allow your name and number to be disclosed to the public at large at any time.”