The highest court in the southern Indian state of Kerala will today hear a challenge from the country’s opposition Congress Party over an order for compulsory use of a COVID-19 tracking app.
The Indian government is requiring all public and private sector employees returning to work to register with Aarogya Setu or “Health Bridge,” a mobile phone application that uses Bluetooth and GPS to alert users who may have encountered someone who tested positive for COVID-19. With 94 million compulsory and voluntary downloads to date, the move has drawn considerable criticism from opposition politicians and digital rights activists, who claim the app abridges the principle of consent.
Regardless of how the court rules on the constitutionality of compelling downloads, the controversy is likely to spark a long-term debate on Indian digital rights, potentially spurring an opposition-backed call for a comprehensive law on national data privacy, which the country currently lacks in its entirety.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.
Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.