Prasar Bharati Makes Aarogya Setu Installation Mandatory for Staff

The memorandum states security at Prasar Bharati premises should check if staff members have installed the app. 

Published14 Apr 2020, 11:34 AM IST
India
2 min read

Prasar Bharati, India’s public service broadcaster, issued an office memorandum on Tuesday, 14 April, making it mandatory for its staff to install the Aarogya Setu app.

The direction mandating the installation of the COVID-19 contact tracing app was issued on the same day Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people to download Aarogya Setu during his address to the nation.

The memorandum, issued with the approval of the CEO, also goes on to say that security guards at Prasar Bharti’s office premises should be instructed to check if the staff members have indeed installed the app.

The app, which has been flagged for major privacy concerns of profiling and surveillance, has to be installed by both, field reporters as well as the office staff of Prasar Bharati which runs Doordarshan and All India Radio.

According to the memo titled ‘Precautionary Measures to Contain the Spread of COVID-19’, a copy of which The Quint has accessed:

  1. The Staff reporting for duty, be it in the office premises or in the field (for reporting and other activities), mandatorily install the aforesaid app.
  2. Security to be instructed to ensure that all those entering and leaving the premises of Prasar Bharti establishment should confirm they have activated the app.

The memorandum goes on to state that heads of Prasar Bharati establishments must ensure that the instructions are “strictly enforced”.

Moreover, the language of the memorandum also follows the words said by the PM, during his 10 am address to the nation.

As part of his seven-point appeal to the citizens of the country, regarding COVID-19, PM Modi had mentioned downloading the Aarogya Setu mobile app and encouraging others to do so as point number four.

Prasar Bharati’s memorandum to its employees states, “All staff are also requested to create general awareness regarding the app and encourage greater adoption and activation of the same.”

Writing for The Quint on the concerns with the app’s contact tracing and monitoring policies, Amber Sinha, executive director, Center for Internet and Society, states that “In the case of Aarogya Setu, the privacy policy merely says that the data will be shared with the ‘Government of India’ without specifying the relevant departments.”

“Similarly, the privacy policy also says that data may be shared with for necessary medical and administrative interventions, thus, diluting the principles of strict and necessary access control,” he added.

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