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Former SC Judge Questions Use of Aarogya Setu App

Aarogya Setu App

Aarogya Setu App

The former apex court judge said this (app) is some kind of patchwork which will causes more concern to citizens than to benefit to them.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: May 12, 2020, 11:33 PM IST
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Former Supreme Court judge, Justice B N Srikrishna, has questioned the use of contact tracing Aarogya Setu app, the mobile application to help track COVID-19 patients, over a possible breach of data use.


The former apex court judge said this (app) is some kind of patchwork which will causes more concern to citizens than to benefit to them.


Justice Srikrishna said that it is highly objectionable that such an order on the contact tracing app is issued at an executive level.


"Such an order has to be backed by Parliamentary legislation, which will authorise the government to issue such an order," the ex-judge said while speaking at a webinar titled "Data Governance & Democratic Ethos" organised by Daksh on Monday.


He said that there was no accountability in the system in case of data breach in the absence of a proper legislation in place.


"If there is a breach of data here, who is answerable? What action has to be taken? Who will held accountable for the data breach? This should really have really have been traced ideally to PDP (Personal Data Protection) Act or through National Disaster Management Act by an appropriate amendment," he said.


The former judge said that the government order is "akin to an inter-departmental circular".


"It is good that they are keeping with the principles of the Personal Data Protection Bill but who will be responsible if there is a breach? It does not say who should be notified," he said.


Justice Srikrishna had also chaired the expert committee that drafted the Personal Data Protection Bill. The government had on April 2 launched the mobile app to help people assess their risk of getting infected with coronavirus and alert authorities if they have come in close contact with an infected person.


Around 9.8 crore people have downloaded this app and it is available in 12 languages. Around 1.4 lakh Aarogya Setu app users have been alerted via Bluetooth contact tracing about possible risk of infection due to proximity to infected patients, according to a government official.


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