India defends its app to trace the coronavirus after hacker accusations

India defends its app to trace the coronavirus after hacker accusations

© Provided by Agencia EFE

New Delhi, May 6 (EFE) .- The developers of the Indian government application that seeks to trace coronavirus infections said on Wednesday that the data of more than 90 million users is not at risk, after a hacker reported a gap in safety.

“I have found a security flaw in your app, the privacy of 90 million Indians is at stake. Could you contact me privately?” Launched the hacker identified as Elliot Alderson, named after the hacker who starred in the American series Mr. Robot, on Twitter.

Those responsible for the application Aarogya Setu, presented by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in early April, denied in a statement today the possible gap after contacting the hacker.

“No personal information on a user has been proven at risk by this ethical hacker … The Aarogya Setu team assures everyone that no data or security breach has been identified,” the developers said.

The application, developed by the governmental National Computer Center, has been installed by more than 90 million people.

Once installed, the application collects data and detects other users of Aarogya Setu to determine a person’s risk of contracting the coronavirus in India, where the number of positive cases already reaches 49,391 and 1,694 people have died in one of the confinements. strictest in the world.

“The app can calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of the contacts test positive,” explains the National Center for Informatics.

The developers acknowledged today that the application collects the location of users “sometimes” but defended that it does so intentionally and makes this clear in its privacy policy, in addition to hosting that data in a secure and anonymous way.

The “ethical hacker” reacted to the statements of the developers of Aarogya Setu promising more information.

“Basically, you say ‘there’s nothing to see here.’ We’ll see. I’ll get back in touch tomorrow,” said Alderson.

The app has been criticized in India by specialized organizations and activists who consider that the collection of data is excessive and the privacy policy unclear, in a country that lacks a specific law to protect this right.

“It is not just an application to track contacts (…) it is a surveillance application. It is designed to monitor and add where you are going and with whom you are going,” Raman Jit Chima of Access Now, an organization that defends rights, told Efe In Internet.

The installation of Aarogya Setu is mandatory in some cases, for example for all workers in both the public and private sectors. EFE

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(c) EFE Agency


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