DWQA QuestionsCategory: GS Paper IIIQ. Do you think that the data-sharing and knowledge-sharing protocol for the Aarogya Setu app is able to address the privacy concerns of the individuals? What are the suggestions to plug the loopholes left by the protocol? (GS Mains Paper III; 250 words, 15 marks)
1 Answers
Nandhini J answered 4 years ago

Arogyasethu application is one of the central govts initiative to identify covid-19 affected patients and alert those who were in contact with such persons.let’s look into details of Arogyasetu ,its advantages and dis advantages of this application in terms of data privacy concerns.
Data-sharing and knowledge sharing protocol
Data collected by this app is divided into 4categories
1.Demographic data
2.collect Data
3.Self assessment data
4.location data

Demographic data– collects name mobile age gender profession and travel history of an individuals
Contact data contact of other individual who has registered with this app ,duration of the contact, proximate distance between the individuals and geographic location at which contact occurred.
 Assessment data-Individual are needed to answer the questionnaire regarding our health.
Location data– geographical position of individual in latitude and longitude.

Knowledge sharing
The collected data is accessed by national informatics centre along with health departments of central and state government.
The data is also given to universities for research purpose.
Existing privacy measures

  • The data collected will be preserved for 180 days of collection.
  • Violation of data security protocols by anyone will be punishable under NDMA-2005.
  • The data collected is stored in local storage of one’s mobile unless he or she is affected.

Privacy issues

  • Feared that data collected has possibility of misuse.
  • Fear of being monitored in future based on data given to application.
  • Possibility of reidentifying the individual

Suggestions to plug loop holes
Except for demographic data,response data must be stripped of information to prevent re-identifying the individual .
This can be done through self generated random id.
NIC should maintain a record of organisations and universities to which the data is being shared.
Database can be encrypted during data storage in servers to prevent illegal access.
The facilities in Arogya setu app can be extended to basic mobiles in the form of questionnaire and only blue tooth facility
At this disastrous situation of COVid-19,this application helps government and citizens to remain alert and prevent social transmission of this virus.
On  legalising Arogya sethu app with further data privacy features,it will increase the credibility of the application and make everyone to use it.