Govt says Aarogya Setu data to be stored for up to 180 days and used only for coronavirus tracking

Aarogya Setup application developed by the Indian government has been centre of controversy regarding the privacy issues and now weeks after the launch, the Indian government has finally issued guidelines regarding data handling.

Aarogya-Setu-App

The fresh guidelines allow collection of only demographic, contact, self assessment and location data of persons infected by the coronavirus or those who come in contact with the infected person. It also bars storage of data for more than six months and specify jail term for violators of certain rules.

Currently, the privacy policy allows the app to retain the data for 60 days after a COVID-19 patient is cured, and for other users, the personal information is removed from the server after 45 days. With this newly issued protocol, it will allow the government to retain data beyond 180 days when recommended by the empowered group on technology.

It also reveals that the data collected by the Arogya Setu app can be used by the National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Health, NDMA, SDMA, local government authorities, and any government-related department. Although it says the data will not be shared with third parties, there are certain relaxations.

Till date, around 9.8 crore people have downloaded the Aarogya Setu app, which has been made mandatory by the government in COVID-19 containment zones.