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New Aarogya Setu feature: Companies can integrate software into own systems

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By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |

Published: August 23, 2020 12:15:27 am





New updates for Aarogya Setu (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Saturday launched the open application program interface (API) service for Aarogya Setu app. The service can enable companies to integrate the app into their own systems and check for real-time Covid-19 infection status of their employees and pandemic in general. The service can be availed only by companies which have more than 50 employees and are registered in India.

“They can use the open API service to query the Aarogya Setu application in real-time and get the health status of their employees or any other Aarogya Setu user, who have provided their consent for sharing their health status with the organization,” the Ministry said in a statement.

An API is a software that acts as a bridge for two applications to be able to talk to each other and exchange information. With the launch of the Aarogya Setu API, companies can register themselves to avail the services, following which they can be given the code which can be integrated into the programmes being run by these companies.

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The app, which has been downloaded by over 15 crore users till date, was released by the MeitY on April 2. According to a statement released by the Ministry, the Aarogya Setu apps tracks its users’ “interaction with others”, alerts the authorities if there are any suspicions of the user having been in contact with a Covid-19 infected person.

“Once installed in a smartphone through an easy and user-friendly process, the app detects other devices with Aarogya Setu installed that come in the proximity of that phone. The app can then calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts are tested positive,” the government had then said.

Earlier this month, a company which had worked on the code review process of the app had written an article in which it had alleged that there were various security vulnerabilities in the Aarogya Setu app.

In a detailed article, the company had written that they had downloaded the source code of the app within a few minutes and that the involvement of private companies was a threat to the data of Aarogya Setu users.

The Ministry had however, denied the statements and said that company had made “various malicious, nefarious and unsubstantiated claims on security issues in Aarogya Setu app”. The article was taken down a few minutes after the ministry issued the statement in which it said it would take legal action against the company.

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