On Thursday, Karnatak High Court issued notice to the Union Government perusing the petition filed against the government’s directions which made installation of Aarogya Setu app mandatory for air and train travel.
The petition was filed by cyber security activist Anivar Arvind requesting directions to the government to make the installation of app voluntary not mandatory. The petitioner said that the installation of any app cannot be made mandatory for seeking any government service or facility.
The notice was issued by a division bench consist of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty and gave June 12 for the preliminary hearing of the petition. The bench also directed the respondent to file their statement of objections before the date of hearing.
The petition was moved with the help of Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves along with Advocate Siddharth Baburao. The petition claims that the directions issued by the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India making app mandatory is discriminating between people who have mobile phones and people who don’t. Further it also breaches the right to privacy of citizens as it has access to the location of the user.
The petition also mentions that various countries have also launched the contact tracing apps for COVID-19 positives but they are voluntary and use only Bluetooth. Whereas, Aarogya setu app has access to both the Bluetooth and the location of the user. This invasion is absolutely against the Supreme Court’s Judgement under K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India.
The Aarogya Setu app was launched on April 2, 2020 by the National Informatics Centre for the purpose of contract tracing uses GPS services to track the movement and location of users. The app has been facing criticism since the beginning due to some privacy invasion issues.