Apart from India, at least 29 countries are using contact tracing apps around the world. In China, Users scan QR codes to share information about their health status and travel history. These codes need to be scanned before boarding buses and trains or entering airports – something which even India is looking at – to make the app an e-pass for movement of people. In Italy, the app works on a voluntary basis. In Germany, the government has not developed a home-grown app but is looking at support from US tech giants – Apple and Google.
Privacy rights experts around the world have risen to the occasion and are talking about concerns related to such contact tracing apps. As the world scrambles to limit the spread of infectious disease, it is crucial to understand how governments can navigate between essential contact tracing and user privacy.
In India, according to the latest news, if a person residing in Noida, a suburb near Delhi, does not have Arogya Setu app installed in their phones, it will be considered a violation of the lockdown and the person could be punished.