NEW DELHI: The government making the Aarogya Setu mobile application mandatory for all employees raises serious data protection questions, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Monday, asserting that COVID-19 must not become an excuse for the creation of a "surveillance state" in India.
The mobile application helps users identify whether they are at risk of the COVID-19 infection.
It also provides people with important information, including ways to avoid coronavirus and its symptoms.
"The government's requirement that the Aarogya Setu app is now mandatory for all employees, public or private, raises serious privacy and data protection questions. COVID-19 must not become an excuse for the creation of a 'surveillance state' in India," Tharoor tweeted.
The Government's requirement that the #AarogyaSetu app is now mandatory for all employees, public or private, raises serious privacy & data protection questions. #COVID19 must not become an excuse for creation of a "surveillance state" in India. https://t.co/FNh37lDe0G— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 4, 2020
The central government has made it compulsory for all its employees to download the app and urged private entitles to also ask their employees to use it.
Tharoor's attack on the government came two days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Aarogya Setu mobile application is a "sophisticated surveillance system" outsourced to a private operator, raising serious data security and privacy concerns.