Governments are using Artificial Intelligence tools for medical research and manage public health. Popular usage is contact tracing and symptom tracking to check COVID-19 spread. The promising tech, however, at no point undermine human rights. China, Iran, Israel, Italy, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea are leveraging personal data in their containment efforts. The possibility of misuse of personal information in future, however, cannot be denied.
Aarogya Setu has helped the authorities to identify “more than 3,000 hotspots in 3-17 days ahead of time ” said NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant. He said that the app has reached to “50 mn subscribers in 15 days and 100 mn subscribers in 40 days.” The CEO revealed that of the over 114 mn users, two-thirds have taken the self-assessment test to evaluate exposure to COVID-19. Aarogya Setu, so far, has helped identify about 500,000 Bluetooth contacts.
The much-awaited Apple and Google’s exposure notification system API to check COVID-19 spread is now available for developers. The API is designed to notify potential exposure to others who have confirmed cases of COVID-19 while maintaining strict privacy. Public health agencies can now issue apps that make use of it. So far 22 countries across five continents have already asked for and been provided access to the API.
Aarogya Setu app has so far helped the authorities to identify around 13,000 COVID-19 patients. It has also alerted over 1.4 lakh people who had come in close contact with any infected persons. The government, following security concerns, issued stringent guidelines for processing of data collected through the app. Storage of data for more than six months is completely barred. The new guidelines also specify jail term if certain rules are violated.