Letter to BS: Privacy concerns over Aarogya Setu app deserves to be noted

In the absence of a law on data protection in India and by not making the Setu app open source, the whole thing might lead to some problems
Apropos the editorial “Tracing Aa­rogya Setu” (May 4), the concerns expressed are real and deserves to be noted by the authorities. Wo­rldwide, leaders are empowering themselves by ramping up data collection, often at the cost of the privacy of citizens. In the absence of a law on data protection in India and by not making the Setu app open source, the whole thing might lead to some problems. Not long ago, the Union minister for road transport, while mandating the use of FASTags, had said that data collected at the toll gates will be used by the home ministry to track violators of law. Given that a gun can kill an enemy as well as a friend, depending on the intent and mood of the user, it is quite likely that the data collected to enhance safety is used for undesirable purposes. Will it not be wise to constitute a group of independent members from the civil society — software and legal professionals — to audit the app and reassure citizens that their personal data will not be subjected to misuse?

Ganga Narayan Rath  Hyderabad

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