The computing code of India’s coronovirus-tracing app Aroyga Setu will be opened to independent developers and may be suggested, with the government on Tuesday marking its concerns about its safety and use by privacy activists.
The government said that the Android version of the app will be made open source first and later made other. “This is a unique thing. No other government product is open on this scale anywhere in the world. Today its scale and size is 115 million. This phone cuts IVRS. Products available in 12 languages only. “All Covid-19 related apps have been put together, Arogya Setu is bigger than all of them,” Nitibayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant quoted Livemint’s report as saying.
The government has aggressively pushed Arogya Setu, advising people to install it as they travel or work in offices. The app gives users color-coded designations based on their health status and travel history.
When two smartphones installed with Arogya Setu fall within each other’s Bluetooth range, the app will collect information. If one of the two people has already tested positive, the app will alert the other person and in the process allow the government to detect potential cases.
Privacy activists and cyber security experts have warned against its misuse. The Caroid-19 epidemic, CERT-In (Indian Chemical Chemical Response Team) said on 16 May that phishing attacks in the name of Arogya Setu are witnessing a “high surge” as the Internet is taking advantage of the increased curiosity of users.
It said the attackers are also installing equipment connected to the World Health Organization and associated with popular video conferencing platforms such as Zoom to steal sensitive data.
Phishing refers to the cyber word of enticing and deceiving an Internet user via a fake SMS or email and thereby breaches their privacy to steal sensitive information.