Aarogya Setu App now mandatory for all employees. The government has made the use of Aarogya Setu app mandatory for all public and private sector employees. The same took place while announcing another extension of the ongoing lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also been made compulsory for people residing in Containment Zones. To enable intensive surveillance and contact tracing in those areas.
App encouragement by the government
The government has asked the authorities to ensure total coverage of the app among those residents. Aarogya Setu has been introduced as a voluntary app by the government in early April and saw massive growth in usage. Thanks to its use been encouraged by PM Narendra Modi and establishments such as CBSE.
Aarogya Setu mandatory for all employees
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said, “Use of Aarogya Setu app shall be made mandatory for all employees, both private and public. It shall be the responsibility of the head of the respective organisations to ensure 100% coverage of this app among the employees.”
The government, on Wednesday, had made the app compulsory for all the central government employees.
MHA also mentioned that privates offices in Red Zone would be allowed to open with up to 33% strength. Containment zones will not be included. The remaining staff will have to work from home.
It said, “Private offices can operate with up to 33% strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home.”
It is also implied in Orange and Green Zones, 100% strength is allowed. Government offices in the Red Zone will now be allowed to operate at full strength for senior officers of the level of deputy secretary and above.
Mandatory in Containment Zones
MHA guidelines have also stated that the authorities will make sure that Aarogya Setu app is being used by everyone in Containment Zones. The guidelines read, “The local authorities shall ensure 100% coverage of Aarogya Setu app among the residents of containment zone”
Aarogya Setu launched in early April, is a contact tracing app using Bluetooth and GPS data of users for the purpose. The government has decided to take up intensive surveillance for contact tracing in Containment Zones. Its use is vigorously being promoted by government leaders and authorities.
App’s Privacy concerns
The app has also raised privacy concerns. As per the experts, the app requires far more data than what is necessary. It also falls shorts of the standards set by contact tracing apps of other countries.
Use of GPS-based location data is a major concern. NITI Aayog has defended the use of the app and said that GPS data helps in finding new hotspots. It claimed that location data is not being used by the app on an individual basis. It is rather being used on an aggregated basis.