Government Quells Surveillance Concerns, Makes Arogya Setu App Open Source For Developers

The Government of India today turned the Android version of COVID-19 tracking app into an open-source enabling any researchers, cybersecurity experts, or developers to inspect and therefore audit the app to suit their requirements

India   |   28 May 2020 11:21 AM GMT
Writer : Richa Mukherjee | Editor : Prateek Gautam | Creatives : Abhishek M
Government Quells Surveillance Concerns, Makes Arogya Setu App Open Source For Developers

Ever since the launch of the Aarogya Setu app in April 2020, it has come under scrutiny for its handling of user data, many accusing the contract tracking app of putting the user data as a risk. Addressing this issue, the Government of India has turned the Android version of the COVID tracking app into an open-source enabling any researchers, cybersecurity experts, or developers to inspect and therefore audit the app to suit their requirements.

The source code for the Android version of the app has been made available by the Government on GitHub. The government also announced that the iOS version of the application will be released as open-source within the next two weeks along with its source code.

The government also went on to explain their stance behind making the app an open-source. It said that by opening the app to the public domain, the govt is looking towards expanding collaboration and leverage the expertise of some top technical experts in the country to build a robust technology solution to support the frontline workers who are risking their own lives in fighting the global pandemic.

The process of supporting the open-source development will be managed by the National Informatics Centre and the government of India also requested the developers to help find any vulnerabilities or code improvement in order to make the app more secure for users.

The Government's move to make Aarogya Setu app open-source comes just a few days after it updated the app's privacy policy allowing developers to reverse engineer it to detect flaws in the system.

"Transparency, privacy, and security have been the core design principle of Aarogya Setu. Opening the source code to the developer community signifies the Government of India's continuing principal to these commitments. No other government anywhere in the world has been open source at this scale," NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

The app was launched on April 2 and has around 11.5 crore users at present.

Also Read: Aarogya Setu, Thermal Screening Mandatory: How Air Travel Will Be From May 25

Suggest a correction

    Help Us Correct

    To err is human, to help correct is humane
    Identified a factual or typographical error in this story? Kindly use this form to alert our editors
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Form Submitted Successfully
    Error in submitting form. Try again later

Contributors

Richa Mukherjee

Richa Mukherjee

Digital Journalist

Prateek Gautam

Prateek Gautam

Digital Editor

I'm a free soul with the firm belief that journalism, apart from politics, should stand for social cause and environment.

Abhishek M

Abhishek M

Trainee Creative Producer

"Engineer by education, creative producer by profession, Photoshop interests me, travelling makes me happy, its a whole new world there every day"

Next Story