Aarogya Setu Coronavirus contact tracing gained a lot of popularity ever since it launched. The app has over 114 million users and tends to add new features quite often. However, its privacy and security is still an issue of debate in the country. With an aim to make it more secure, the Government of India has made the COVID-19 contact tracing app ope source. Read on to know more about it.
Aarogya Setu now an open-source app
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced that they have released the Android source code of the app on GitHub and invites the developer community to come and look into the app to make it a better one. All this is done under the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and is licensed under Apache License version 2.0.
It is suggested that since the Android userbase is close to 98%, the government has released the Android source code first. The source code for the iOS version of Aarogya Setu, as well as, KaiOS will be released soon. As a reminder, the app also has an IVRS for feature phone and landline users to self-assess and stay safe.
MeitY, in a document, stated, "Opening the source code to the developer community signifies our continuing commitment to the principles of transparency and collaboration. Aarogya Setu's development has been a remarkable example of collaboration between Government, Industry, Academia, and citizens. With the release of the source code in the public domain, we are looking to expanding collaboration and the leverage the expertise of top technical brains amongst the talented youth and citizens of our nation and to collectively build a robust and secure technology solution to help support the work of frontline health workers in fighting this pandemic together."
The decision to make Aarogya Setu open source comes after several security issues were raised against the app. A popular ethical hacker suggested that the app has privacy issues and the app was reportedly hacked by a Bengaluru-based man.
In addition to this, the government has announced a Bug Bounty Programme for the same. The program will invite developers to find security vulnerabilities, flaws, and code improvements in the Aarogya Setu app. With this, if any issues prevail, the app will be fixed to make it more secure for users. Those who look for some will also get rewards for the same.