The push for government’s Aarogya Setu app is now making its way to the private sector, and service companies like Zomato and Urban Company are making it mandatory for their staff. The app has been designed by the National Informatics Centre a few weeks back and is claimed to have been downloaded by more than 5 million users already. The app has been a scrutinised for its privacy terms, and not mentioning if all the data residing with the government will be deleted once the pandemic is over.
Coming back to these two companies, Deepinder Goyal, Founder at Zomato tweeted the details of the new arrangement, and he claims that by downloading the app on their phones, the delivery staff at Zomato can offer confidence to its consumers. “The idea is to keep individuals, as well as the authorities, informed in case they have crossed paths with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus to prevent further spread. We are also going to showcase that our delivery partners are using the Aarogya Setu app so that it gives our users confidence to get their essentials home-delivered, and not step out,” Goyal tweeted.
“In case our delivery partner comes in contact with an infected person or visits a hotspot area, authorities will know at the earliest. This will instantly enable us to isolate the delivery partner and support him/her for quarantine and treatment,” Goyal added.
Earlier this week, we talked about the lack of evidence to suggest that contact tracing apps can help in containment of COVID-19, and security experts from across the globe are skeptical about its impact and whether the reliance on technology is the way to go.
But it’s not just Zomato, another service aggregator, Urban Company (previously called Urban Clap), has asked all its service professionals like electricians, plumber and carpenter among others to download the app and keep checking their health condition through it. More importantly, “they want the professionals to confirm their risk status through the app before starting a service and also advised to assure the customers by showing their health and fitness levels before starting a service.”
The Aarogya Setu app has been downloaded by 50 million people, while the number of smartphone users in India is much higher. While using the app puts these companies in the good books of the government, we’re not sure if it will deliver the required outcome ie reducing the spread of the virus.