Privacy Current Affairs - 2020

Corona Kavach: Application launched by GoI to locate a COVID-19 positive patient

On April 2, 2020, the Government of India launched Corona Kavach application to map the location of a COVID-19 positive patient through GPS.

Highlights

The application has been launched by India after learning about its success in the countries such as South Korea and Singapore. The “Corona Kavach” application tracks the data of the user every hour. It then alerts him if he has crossed a Corona Positive patient.

The application has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information technology and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Contraries

Though the application is highly useful to bring back normalcy while fighting COVID-19, privacy activists raise concerns about the app. The activists are concerned that the apps are coming up without any legal framework in place.

How will the app help in normalcy?

GoI is making every step to bring back normalcy in the country after the Lock Down. An expert panel of higher officials from different ministries has been formed and is working towards this.

The GoI has also issued guidelines on taking hydroxychloroquine drug when a person comes in contact with Covid-19 positive patient. This is a precautionary step suggested by the Government to prevent the disease. The AYUSH ministry has also suggested “Kabasura Chooranam” as a preventive measure.

The methods are specially recommended to asymptomatic patients that are in constant touch with infected patients.

Along with these measures, a person shall lead a normal life while fighting against the virus after the lock down.

Arogya Setu: Mulit-Lingual Mobile Application launched by GoI to track COVID-19

On April 2, 2020, National Informatics Center operating under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has developed an application “Arogya Sethu”. The app alerts the person whenever he comes in contact within six feet of COVID-19 infected person.

Key Features of the App

The application uses Bluetooth and GPS of a smart phone to inform the user if he is in a radius of 6 feet from a COVID-19 infected person. The application also provides information about the best practices and advisories regarding containment of the virus.

The application is available in 11 languages. In order to keep the application running, one has to keep their GPS and Bluetooth ON always. The application asks for name, gender, profession, travel history and profession. The data extracted are to be shared only to Government of India according to the terms and conditions of the application.

Privacy component of the Application

While the app searches for information about COVID-19 patient, it does not disturb the privacy of the patient. The privacy policy of the application clearly states that the user data extracted will not be shared with third party.