The Karnataka High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Union Government on a petition challenging the directions making installation and use of 'Aarogya Setu' mandatory for travel by air and rail.
The plea filed by cyber security activist Anivar Arvind sought directions to authorities to make the use of the contact tracing app developed by NIC voluntary and not mandatory. The plea also sought a declaration that the use of the application cannot be mandated for accessing any government service or facility.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty, posted the petition for preliminary hearing on June 12 and directed the respondents to file their statement of objections before that.
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves along with Advocate Siddharth Baburao. appeared for the petitioner.
The plea states that the directions issued by the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India mandating the use of the app discriminates against persons who do not have a smartphone and also affects the Right to Privacy of citizens by mandating the use of an app that has access to the location of the use.
The plea mentions that many countries across the world launched mobile apps for contact tracing of persons who test positive for COVID-19. The applications are voluntary and most of these applications across the world use only Bluetooth and do not access the location of the user.
In contrast, the application launched on April 2,by the National Informatics Centre for contact tracing uses GPS services to track location of users, states the petitioner.
As per the plea, the app has been collecting excessive data and this goes against the principles of "data minimization and purpose limitation" as enshrined in Puttaswamy Judgement.