The National Informatics Centre developed the Aarogya Setu App amid COVID-19 pandemic. It collects the personal details of the users to alert them. Being that, the Kerala High Court heard public interest litigation filed by John Dayal. The petition challenged the directives issued by the Central government. Accordingly, the court has sought a statement from the Central government concerning data privacy safeguards of the application. The Central government has to guarantee that the information collected by the App is not misused.
However, the Bench declined to pass any interim order against the compulsory imposition of the App on employees. While adjourning, it observed that “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures”.
The Centre told the court about the formulation of data protocol norms to address privacy concerns. Moreover, Ministry of Home Affairs issued guidelines on May 1, 2020. It stated that the use of Aarogya Setu App is to be made mandatory for all the employees. The Head of the organisations are responsible to ensure its use. Notably, these directives stand challenged before the Kerala High Court. The petitions assert that such directives are violative of Right to Privacy and Personal autonomy.
The bench of Kerala High Court consisted of Justices Anu Sivaraman and M.R. Anitha. The bench has listed the matter on May 19, 2020 for further proceedings.