After the Aarogya Setu app was launched in the previous month, many organisations and privacy activists surfaced to voice their concerns related to the mandatory nature of Aarogya Setu app installation that is being pushed aggressively by the Indian Government.
Now, the Information and Communication Technology aka ICT apex body Manufacturers’ Association Of Information Technology aka MAIT has also joined in. They have raised the red flag against the regulation which makes it mandatory for both private and public sector employees and officials to install the application.
MAIT happens to include tech giants such as Cisco, Dell, Intel, Candon and many others which have collectively come together and said that this particular order of the Indian Government which holds heads of private companies liable for punitive measures to ensure that all employees have the app installed, must be withdrawn right away. That being said, the association has assured that all the heads of the industries are very much enthusiastic about resuming their operations and they will certainly ensure all measures are taken in that direction itself.
Geroge Paul who is the Chief Executive Officer of MAIT, in a statement, has said that it wouldn’t be right on the Indian Government’s part to hold the management accountable for an individual employee’s “dereliction” and therefore he recommends that the that these measures be withdrawn.
In reply to this, an official from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology aka MeitY has mentioned that this measure of the mandatory installing of the Aarogya Seti app has been implemented by the government. He also informed that it has been demanded by the services industry itself as they want to curb the pandemic and not contribute to its further spreading.
The official, under the condition of anonymity, while speaking to ET further added that one should change their perspective of viewing this measure by seeing it as an opportunity to allow businesses to start their operations in a safe manner.
Last Friday, the Ministry of Home Affairs aka MHA reported that factories and offices in some designated zones will finally be allowed to begin operations only if all the employees mandatorily install and use the Aarogya Setu app by MyGov. They also said that if on the part of a director, manager or a secretary any kind of negligence is proven when it comes to the implementation of this measure then it will definitely lead to punishment.
CP Gurnani who is the CEO of Tech Mahindra, in a statement, has said that he certainly commends this initiative of the Indian Government but at the same time he is concerned by the way it is being enforced. He also added that his concerns do not stem from any privacy or security issues as he feels it is a well-designed and well-engineered app by MyGov.
Gurnani also pointed out that it is near impossible to know if an employee has deleted the Aarogya Setu app from their phone later on after being initially instructed by the company to install it. In this case, he feels there is a flaw in the way in which this measure is being enforced.
The Indian Government aims to cover all mobile phone users in the country including both smartphone and feature phone users. It is currently ramping up its efforts to set up an IVR system which will function similarly to the Aarogya Setu app for feature phones. It is also developing a special version of the app to run on all Jio Phones which run on the KaiOS. So far close to 88 million people have downloaded the app.