The Karnataka High Court today issued notice to the centre government on a petition challenging mandatory installation and use of ‘Aarogya Setu‘ for travel by air and rail.
The plea that was filed by cyber security activist Anivar Arvind sought directions to make the use of the contact tracing app voluntary and not mandatory. The plea also sought a declaration that the use of the application cannot be made compulsory for accessing any government service or facility.
A division bench consisting of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty, posted the petition for preliminary hearing on June 12 and have in the meanwhile directed the respondents to file their statement of objections.
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves along with Advocate Siddharth Baburao represented the petitioner.
The plea states that the directions issued by the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India mandating the use of the app discriminates against persons who do not have a smartphone and also interferes with the Right to Privacy of citizens by mandating the use of an app that has access to the location of the user.
The plea mentions that even though many countries across the world launched mobile apps for contact tracing of persons who test positive for COVID-19, such applications like Aarogya Setu are voluntary and use only Bluetooth and do not have access to the location of the user.
In contrast, the application of Aarogya Setu launched on April 2,by the National Informatics Centre for contact tracing uses GPS to track location of users, states the petitioner.
It added that the Aarogya Setu app has been collecting excessive data which goes against the principles of “data minimization and purpose limitation” as enshrined in Puttaswamy Judgement.