The National Informatics Centre (NIC) refused to provide the list of companies that have access to the Aarogya Setu Open API in an RTI response, saying that “no larger public interest is served by providing this information”. When SFLC.in, the digital rights organisation that had filed the RTI, appealed the reply citing Section 8 of the RTI Act, 2005, which does not recognise “larger public interest” as a ground to deny information, the Appellate Authority of NIC agreed with the first CPIO’s (Chief Public Information Officer) decision to refuse the information. The Aarogya Setu Open API Services Portal, launched on August 22, allows third party apps to check users’ health status “with consent”. This service is only available to orgnisations and entities that are registered and have operations in India, and have more than 50 employees/customers/users. We had earlier sought information of companies with access to @SetuAarogya 's Open API and list of integration service providers. The sought information was denied citing that it does not serve a larger public interest. https://t.co/HiUb3M8qOu — sflc.in (@SFLCin) November 19, 2020 This is not the first time that RTI queries related to the contact tracing app have been stonewalled: The Central Information Commission had hauled up the CPIOs of National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) for providing evasive replies to RTIs related to Aarogya Setu. In this case, filed by RTI activist and journalist Saurav Das, the CIC had also directed the NIC to explain how it…
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