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Aarogya Setu faces unidentified issues; new privacy policy, terms of use might be released in a couple of days

Aarogya Setu

Update (July 1 10:41 am): The Aarogya Setu team acknowledged that the issue had been resolved at 12:10 am and said that “all user data is safe” at 12:54 am.

Earlier (July 1, 2020 12:36 am): A number of users were automatically logged out of the Aarogya Setu app and asked to re-register with all their personal information on the app’s 90th day (June 30). Those who tried to re-register also faced issues. Few users got the message “Service Unavailable” while others got the message “Unable to Evaluate your Risk Status”. The app’s official Twitter account also acknowledged the issue.

The app’s grievance officer, R.S. Mani, the deputy director-general of National Informatics Centre (NIC), told MediaNama that the team is currently looking into the issue. “We are just working on it, we are also getting some complaints,” he said. We asked him if data could have been wiped out since it was the 90th day of the app, as many were speculating on Twitter. He said that “absolutely nothing” of this sort has happened.

Since Terms of Use weren’t working on the iOS version of the app when we checked and we kept getting an error message, we asked Mani if they were being updated. He said that the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use might be updated in a couple of days. On iOS, at least when we checked, the app did not open at all and displayed a white screen with just the phone number, links to the privacy policy and terms of use.

It is interesting that this issue has arisen on the 90th day. As per the app’s three versions of privacy policies (v1, v2, v3), and three versions of terms of use (v1, v2, v3), no data is deleted at 90 days. It is either after 30 days (if a user deletes the app and information has not been uploaded to the server), 45 days (if the location and Bluetooth data are uploaded to the server and person tests negative for COVID-19), and 60 days (from the day the person is declared COVID-19 free after having tested posted positive for it). Even under the Aarogya Setu Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocol, 2020, the contact, location and self-assessment data will “ordinarily” not be retained beyond 180 days from the data of collection after which it will be deleted.

Since a number of private and government institutions have made the app mandatory to access services, including going to work, many people expressed their worry about not having a working app and how they would access services, including flights because of it. We are contacting the users who have faced the issue to know when they downloaded the app. At least one of them has said that they downloaded the app about one week after it was launched on April 2. On Android, the app was last updated on May 29 (a couple of days after its code was open sourced) while on iOS, the app was last updated on June 6.

***Update (12:54 am): The app started working on MediaNama’s iOS device with all the features, without us having to re-register. Terms of Use still displayed an error. Originally published on July 1 at 12:36 am.

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    © 2008-2018 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ