A Brief on Privacy Concerns Around the COVID-19 Pandemic for the Committee on Information Technology

In order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India launched a contact tracing application “Aarogya Setu”, and is also in the process of deploying various technologies like the patient tracking tool incorporated in the BECIL tender, etc, which have the potential to serve as surveillance tools. In the absence of privacy laws, it is important to have Parliamentary oversight on these technological developments. With the Parliament not in session currently, the Parliamentary oversight is only possible through these committee meetings.

SFLC.in prepared a brief on privacy concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic and suggested questions to the Committee on Information Technology meeting scheduled on June 17, 2020. One of the agendas for the meeting is "Oral Evidence on citizen’s security and privacy by the representatives of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.”

We sincerely hope that the Committee will take up the concerns arising from balancing of public health, technological innovation, and individual data protection rights.