New Delhi: The central government on Wednesday said that it has deleted all contact-tracing data collected through the Aarogya Setu mobile app as part of its Covid management protocol.
In the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar informed that the app’s contact-tracing feature had been discontinued in accordance with provisions of a Covid protocol formulated in early 2020. He further added that the data collected through the app till 10 May, 2022 had been deleted.
“As per a decision of the empowered group, its chairperson issued an order dated 11.5.2020, notifying the Aarogya Setu Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocol, 2020, to ensure secure collection of data by the Aarogya Setu mobile application, protection of personal data of individuals and the efficient use and sharing of personal or non-personal data for mitigation and redressal of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the minister said.
As per the information, the National Executive Committee, constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, had in March 2020, selected an empowered group on technology and data management for the effective and time-bound implementation of strategies in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Secure access to the data collected through Aarogya Setu to govt bodies
He also said that approved officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, state health departments, the National and State Disaster Management Authorities and district civil surgeons had been given secure access to the data collected through Aarogya Setu.
However, as per The Print’s the non-governmental organisation, Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) has questioned whether the entire data is gone and also who all were privy to it.
On 13 May, 2020, “the IFF had filed an RTI to enquire about the composition of the Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management who were involved in drafting the protocol. They also asked if any legal opinion was sought to draft the protocol.” added the report.
Activists have been raising concerns over the data collected through the Arogya Setu app launched in April 2022, during the onset of Covid-19 pandemic.
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