The controversy around India’s covid19 contact tracing app Aarogya Setu

The Central Information Commission (CIC) on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to the Centre over providing evasive answers to a Right to Information (RTI) query. The National Informatics Centre (NIC), which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology India, has said that it has no information about who has created the Aarogya Setu app and how it has been created.

Back in April. The app goes live on all app stores and the government itself self-promoted this app to trace and combat the Novel Coronavirus. Soon the app reaches 1 crore downloads ( currently the app holds more than 16 crore users) on app stores. The government of India continued to promote the aarogya setu app as a mandatory application for the people in India.

Later French-based security researcher found security flaws in the app. Soon the privacy concerns raised against the contact tracing app and the Government of India open sources the code of Aarogya setu claiming the app is completely safe to use.

The government responds to the issue and made a statement. “The Aarogya Setu app was developed in a record time of around 21 days, to respond to the exigencies of the Pandemic with Lockdown restrictions only for the objective of building a Made in India Contact Tracing App with the best of Indian minds from Industry, Academia and Government, working round the clock to build a robust, scalable and secure app,”

The CIC issued show-cause notices to SK Tyagi, Deputy Director and CPIO; DK Sagar, Deputy Director Electronics; and RA Dhawan, Senior General Manager (HR & Admn) and CPIO NeGD.

The Commission has directed the CPIOs to appear before the bench on November 24 to show cause as to why action should not be initiated against them under Section 20 of the RTI Act.

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