Google-Apple's COVID-19 exposure notification rolls out for users in India, not compatible with Aarogya Setu yet

The exposure notification will only be compatible with the health authority app and the Aarogya Setu app is not yet compatible with it.


Back in April, Google and Apple teamed up to launch a COVID -19 contract tracing technology and named it Exposure Notifications. Turns out, it is finally available for both Android and iOS users in India. Notably, users are required to download their public health authority's app, which is Aarogya Setu in our case, to use the Exposure notifications. However, the Aarogya Setu app is not yet compatible with Google's exposure notifications.

There are a few tweaks and requirements that Aarogya Setu needs to fulfill so that it is compatible with Google's API. Google is stringent to the fact that its API will only work with the public health authority apps.

(Also read: Apple-Google contract tracing API promises privacy protection, yet many govts want their own apps

 Google-Apples COVID-19 exposure notification rolls out for users in India, not compatible with Aarogya Setu yet

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Countries like Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and others are already using this API.

If Aarogya Setu becomes compatible with exposure notification, here is all you would like to know:

Exposure Notification has rolled out on Android smartphones.

Exposure Notification has rolled out on Android smartphones.

How to activate Exposure Notifications?

To let exposure notifications do its job, download the Aarogya Setu app on your phone, you need to turn on the Bluetooth and phone's location. According to Google, "the system uses location to scan Bluetooth signals and it does not collect or track your location."

Exposure notifications

Exposure notifications

How does the exposure notifications work?

Basically, when you turn on the exposure notifications on your phone via Aarogya Setu, it will send random IDs to nearby phones (given that they have also turned on this setting). This way, your phone will exchange and store a lot of IDs throughout the day. If anyone from those stored IDs tests positive for COVID-19, the user will be notified accordingly. Notably, these random IDs change every 10-20 minutes to maintain user privacy and are stored for 14 days.

(Also read: Aarogya Setu not 'open source' in real sense, claim cybersecurity activists, sat server code must be made public)

What if you come in contact with a COVID-19 patient?

If someone reports on the Aarogya Setu app that they tested positive for the virus, the system will share "the day that contact happened", "how long the contact lasted" and "the Bluetooth signal strength of that contact". This way, all the contacts will be notified of the next steps.

In case, you report that you have tested positive, you can choose to share those random ID so that the users who have come in your contact can be alerted. Google assures that your identity will not be shared with other users.

How to turn off exposure notifications?

Google has clearly mentioned that you can choose not to use exposure notifications and opt-in voluntarily if you want to use it. In case you change your mind, you can choose to opt-out as well. You can either uninstall Aarogya Setu or go to the phone Settings> Google>COVID-19 exposure notifications and simply tap on it to turn it off.


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