The government on Saturday announced a new feature for its contact tracing app Aarogya Setu which is said to let businesses and economy to start functioning while following the norms of Covid-19 pandemic.
The latest feature Open API Service will enable organizations to check the status of Aarogya Setu and integrate it into its various Work from Home features, stated the Ministry of Electronics and IT in an official release.
“The Open API Service of Aarogya Setu, addresses the fear/risk of Covid-19 infections and help the people, businesses and the economy to return to normalcy,” the ministry added.
The Open API Service of Aarogya Setu, can be availed by organizations and business entities, who are registered in India with more than 50 employees.
These organizations can use the Open API Service to check in real-time and get the health status of their employees or any other Aarogya Setu User, who have provided their consent for sharing their health status with the organization.
The Open API shall only provide the Aarogya Setu status and name of the Aarogya Setu User (with User’s consent). No other personal data shall be provided through the API, the ministry further stated.
Firms can register for Open API Service using this link.
The government-developed novel coronavirus contact tracing app Aarogya Setu, has helped identify more than 30,000 virus hotspots, thus, assisting health officials and administration to take necessary precautionary steps. More than 6.6 million Bluetooth contacts have been traced and percentage positive of those who have tested is almost 27%, the statement said.
The Aarogya Setu app currently has 15 crore users, according to numbers shared by the government on its Twitter account.
Earlier, the government had opened sourced the code for its contact tracing app Aarogya Setu’s Android and iOS versions. For iOS version, the code is available on OpenForge, which is the Indian government’s own open source platform. The Android version is available on Microsoft-owned open source platform Github.
Open sourcing the code for an app allows developers to take a closer look at how the app functions. They can also find bugs in the system and report the same to the creator.
Meanwhile, the app has been under the radar of various cybersecurity experts who have pointed out its privacy issues from time to time. Back in May, French hacker Robert Baptiste, who goes by Elliot Alderson on Twitter tweeted saying he has found security concerns on the app.
However, the Centre had denied the security issues raised saying, “No personal information of any user has been proven to be at risk by this ethical hacker.”