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Asha healthcare workers protest “surveillance” tracking app: Report

Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) hired under the National Health Mission in Haryana are protesting an app that they're being required to use for tracking their work and their GPS location out of concerns of surveillance, the Times of India reported. 22,000 workers will not be using the MDM 360 Shield app put out by the government, Asha Workers Union (Haryana) general secretary Surekha told the publication. The union leader told the times that the app was intended to conduct covert surveillance of ASHA workers to make workers "leaking" information "fall in line". The state's NHM coordinator Chand Singh Madaan told the Times of India that the workers were being misled by political interests. HuffPost reported a similar tracking system with smartwatches last year that tracked municipal workers in Panchkula, Haryana. As the publication reported, state governments and municipalities are being incentivized to put such tracking systems in place as they increase the region's Swachh Survekshan rankings, a measure of cleanliness under the Swachh Bharat mission. In that case, the government reportedly spent upwards of Rs 35 lakh on the watches and the technology, but did not provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment to the workers, indicating perversely skewed incentives. In Chandigarh too, a similar surveillance system was blasted by workers as ineffective and as encouraging a form of "bonded labour". In all the cases, there is little available information on the security of all the information being collected. The situation is further complicated by the fact that India does not…

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