Previously in April, Indian government launched COVID-19 tracking app Aarogya Setu. According to the latest reports from News 18 and government officials, the app may installed by default on new smartphones and also ensure that one should register on it and set it up, before using their new smartphone.
The report states “To enforce the decision, government of India is looking to set nodal agencies, that will be the point of contact for smartphone companies, and will be responsible to have the application installed without a skippable step for all new handsets. This will make the Aarogya Setu app as an inbuilt feature on all new smartphones which will marketed in India from now on. The government is yet to announce similar workaround for enabling contact tracing on featured phones.”
It appears like smartphone companies would be asked for adding software based restrictions to lock users phones unless they register their phones with Aarogya Setu during the initial setup process of a smartphone. However, government has not made an official statement regarding the matter.
As reports from Live Mint, the government had asked smartphone companies to pre-install Aarogya Setu on smartphones but that didn’t immediately come into effect because of disruptions in the supply chain that forced firms to pause the manufacturing process.
According to MAIT, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the application has already received over 75 million active installations in the country. The government is also planning to use Aaroya Setu as an e-pass in common public areas like metro stations, as recommended by The Central Industry Security Force (CISF).