‘Aarogya Setu app violates right to privacy’: Plea in Kerala High Court

A writ petition has been filed in the High Court of Kerala challenging the directions issued by the Central Government to make the use of ‘Aarogya Setu’ app mandatory for public and private employees.

The petition filed by John Daniel, General Secretary of Thrissur District Congress Committee, contends that such directions violate the right to privacy and personal autonomy.

Clause 15 of the National Directives in Exhibit P2 Order mandating the use of the application, Arogya Setu takes away the right of a person to decide and control the use of information pertaining to him. He is forced to give away data to a system which he may or may not approve of, thereby attacking his right of informational autonomy.

Autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution of India also grants an individual freedom not to take part in activities he does not approve of”, states the petition filed through Advocates Sriram Parakkat, K S Sripathi and Anupama┬áSubramanian.

The petitioner states that the use of penal law to enforce use of the app is arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Section 58 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 imposes penal action upon employers of enterprises if their employees do not comply with the directive of usage of Arogya Setu.

This is arbitrary to the extend that no penal action can be imposed to anyone having no Mens Rea. An employer who has only a work relationship with an employee cannot compel the employee to install a mobile application and use it diligently and to provide his personal information to the domain”, the plea reads.

By Priyanka of SPPU