India’s contact-tracking app Aarogya Setu goes open source for Android

The Indian government has announced that it will release the source code of contact-tracing application named Aarogya Setu. The move comes after privacy and security experts have been advocating for the same ever since the application got launched in April.

Along with announcing that the source code will be open-sourced and published in a Github repository, the government has also announced a bug bounty program which is promising a reward of ₹1 lakh for those who discovers bugs or loopholes.

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Making the announcement, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said: “Opening the source code to the developer community signifies our continuing commitment to the principles of transparency and collaboration. Aarogya Setu’s development has been a remarkable example of collaboration between government, industry, academia, and citizens.”

While the source code for Android has now been published on GitHub (link), the code for iOS And KaiOS applications would get released in a “few weeks”. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded more than 114 million times and 98 percent of the users are using it on Android devices.

The app, which uses both Bluetooth and location data to function, has so far advised more than 900,000 users to quarantine themselves or get tested for the disease. Almost 24% of them have confirmed to be positive with COVID-19, the ministry said.