The Central Information Commission (CIC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the government for providing an evasive response to an RTI application related to Aarogya Setu, the contact tracing app that has crores of users' data.
The show-cause notices were issued to Central Public Information Officers of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), National Informatics Centre (NIC) and National E-Governance Division (NeGD) after the agencies failed to give information on the process of creating the Aarogya Setu app, files relating to the creation, and audit measures to check for misuse of personal data of users.
The complaint filed by Saurav Das said that the CPIO, NeGD, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology did not provide any information. The complaint further noted that the information was not provided by NIC and stated that it ‘does not hold the information’ relating to the app’s creation. However, it is mentioned as the app’s creator.
“The CPIO NIC also should explain that when in the website it is mentioned that Aarogya Setu Platform is designed, developed and hosted by National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, then how is it that they do not have any information about creation of the app,” CIC said.
It added that the failure to explain anything regarding the creation of the app, and where are the files is extremely preposterous.
The commission has directed the CPIOs of the agencies to appear before the bench on November 24.
The Aarogya Setu app was rolled out by the government amid the coronavirus pandemic to track the real-time movements of people and alert them if they are in the proximity of Covid-19 patients.