Aarogya Setu
FAQ’s

General

What is Aarogya Setu?

Aarogya Setu is a digital service, primarily a mobile application, developed by the Government of India and is aimed at protecting the citizens during COVID-19. It is designed to augment the initiatives of the Government of India by informing the people of their potential risk of COVID-19 infection and the best practices to be followed to stay healthy, as well as providing them relevant and curated medical advisories, as per MoHFW and ICMR guidelines, pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Why should I use Aarogya Setu?

Aarogya Setu is our common bridge to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in India. Aarogya Setu uses contact tracing to record details of all the people you may have come in contact with as you go about your normal activities. If any one of your contacts, tests positive for COVID-19, you can be informed and proactive medical intervention be arranged for you.

In order to break the chain of infection, it is important to provide medical help and advisory to people who may potentially be at risk, especially asymptomatic people i.e. people who may have contracted the infection but haven’t shown the symptoms yet.

Aarogya Setu enables early identification and prevention of potential risk of infection, through contact tracing, and thus acts as a shield for you, your family and your community. In addition, when you take the self-assessment test on the Aarogya Setu app, by correlating the symptoms that you report along with your location information, the Government of India will have the ability to identify potential hotspots (where disease may be spreading) early enough, so that necessary interventions can be done to control and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

3. How do I get started with Aarogya Setu?

In order to use the Aarogya Setu on your smartphone, you will need to download Aarogya Setu from the PlayStore (for Android devices) or the AppStore (for iOS devices). Alternatively, you can download the App from the following link: https://web.swaraksha.gov.in/in/ .

A version of the App for Jio phones (KaiOS) can be downloaded from the Jio Appstore.

Once you have installed the App, it will guide you through the on boarding process to register yourself. Users are requested to switch on their Bluetooth and set their location sharing to “Always” to ensure that Aarogya Setu works for you, your family and your community’s benefit.

4. Is Aarogya Setu available for feature phones and landlines

Yes, Aarogya Setu services include offering protection to users with feature phones and landlines also. For feature phone users, 1921 IVRS Aarogya Setu service has been launched wherein feature phone users are called back if they give a missed call to 1921 and then they are asked questions on their self-assessment which are similar to the questions on Aarogya Setu app. This IVRS service is available in 11 languages. After the self-assessment, users get a summary of their health condition on SMS. Those who report that they are unwell through their self-assessment also get calls for further assistance. Those who are assessed unwell on the Self-Assessment of Aarogya Setu are also called back by Ayushman Bharat and those who need medical help are also spoken to by doctors.

5. What are the key features of Aarogya Setu?

The key features of Aarogya Setu include:

  • Automatic contact tracing using Bluetooth
  • Self-Assessment test based on ICMR guidelines
  • Risk Status of User
  • Updates, advisory and best practices related to COVID-19
  • Geo-location based COVID-19 statistics
  • Nationwide COVID-19 statistics
  • Emergency COVID-19 Helpline contacts
  • List of ICMR approved Labs with COVID-19 testing facilities
  • e-Pass integration
  • Support for 12 Languages

6. How does contact tracing work on Aarogya Setu?

The Aarogya Setu app on your phone detects other devices that have the Aarogya Setu app when they come within the Bluetooth proximity of your phone. When this happens, both the phones securely exchange a digital signature of this interaction, including time, proximity, location and duration. This data is stored on the device of all individuals. In the unfortunate event that any of the people that you came in contact with during the last 14 days, tests positive for COVID-19, the App calculates your risk of infection based on the number of your interactions and the proximity of your interaction and recommends suitable action. This action is displayed on your Home screen. Your updated risk of infection is analysed by Government of India, to facilitate suitable medical interventions, as and when required.

7. How does the self-assessment test on the Aarogya Setu app work?

The self-assessment test, based on ICMR guidelines, evaluates the likelihood of COVID-19 infection based on your self-reported symptoms and other relevant information like diseases declared, age and gender. This evaluation takes place on the App and the results are communicated to you immediately in terms of green, yellow or orange colours.

8. How does Aarogya Setu calculate my risk of infection?

Each time you come in contact with an Aarogya Setu user, your app records digital signature of this interaction, including time, proximity, location and duration. If, at a later point in time, any of the people you came in contact with tests positive for COVID-19, Aarogya Setu calculates your risk of infection for COVID-19 based on the recent interaction and proximity of your interaction with such person and communicates this risk of infection to you through a notification and by updating the Home Screen with a different colour and a message. This probability is constantly refined based on subsequent contacts. Your updated risk of infection is analysed by Government of India, to facilitate suitable medical interventions, as and when required.

9. What do the various colours of the Home screen on Aarogya Setu app signify?

The Home Screen has four classifications signifying increasing risk of infection: Green, Yellow, Orange and Red.

Green: The Green classification on your screen signifies that you are safe or at Low Risk

You are safe when:

  • Either you haven’t met anyone who has been tested COVID-19 positive or
  • You haven’t declared any symptoms and conditions related to COVID-19 during Self-Assessment or both or
  • You haven’t taken the self-assessment yet

You will be classified at Low Risk

  • You have come in contact with a tested COVID-19 positive but at a relatively log distance or for short duration or
  • You have declared any mild symptoms or conditions related to COVID-19 during Self-Assessment, then you may be shown at a low risk

Yellow: The Yellow classification on your screen signifies moderate risk of infection:

  • You may have met someone who has been tested COVID-19 positive but your interaction was limited and socially distant or
  • You have indicated one of the symptoms or conditions related to COVID-19 during Self-Assessment.

Orange: The Orange classification on your screen signifies high risk of infection

  • You have recently met someone who has been tested COVID-19positive and you came in close proximity with that someone during the meeting and/or for a significant period of time or
  • You have indicated symptoms and / or conditions related to COVID-19 during Self-Assessment.

Red: The Red classification on your screen signifies you have been tested COVID-19 positive.

10. How does Aarogya Setu know if someone has turned COVID-19 positive?

When someone is tested COVID-19 positive, the testing lab shares this information with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – the nodal government agency for COVID-19 testing. ICMR shares the list of COVID-19 positive persons with the Aarogya Setu server. If the person tested COVID-19 positive has the Aarogya Setu app installed, the server then updates the app status and changes the colour to red in the Aarogya Setu app of that person and runs contact tracing for this person to identify the people he/she has come in contact with.

11. If my neighbour tests positive for COVID-19, will the fact that my app has connected with his on Bluetooth mean that I am marked as positive for COVID-19 even if I have remained indoors and never come in physical contact with him?

Aarogya Setu only calculates the possible risk of infection based on your interaction with someone who is later tested COVID-19 positive. Aarogya Setu only marks someone COVID- 19 positive when this information has been received from ICMR.

If your app has connected with your neighbour’s app through Bluetooth, and your neighbour tests positive for COVID-19, Aarogya Setu will analyse his Bluetooth interaction. A neighbour testing positive puts you at risk if you have come in direct contact with him i.e. within the social distance (usually 6 feet or less) for a significant period of time. If the two of you haven’t been in physical contact and you have remained indoors, it is unlikely that your risk of infection will be high.

12. What do the various numbers on the Aarogya Setu Home screen signify?

The Aarogya Setu Home screen shows four statistics for your location (note: this is the live location of your phone). If you move from point A to point B, the numbers will change in accordance with your live location:

  • Number of users within X distance from your location who have taken the selfassessment test
  • Number of Aarogya Setu Users within X distance from your location
  • Number of users within X distance from your location who have indicated one or more of the three symptoms for COVID-19
  • Number of users within X distance from your location who have been tested COVID-19 positive
  • Number of users within X distance from your location who have come in direct contact with someone has been tested COVID-19 positive
  • Where X can be any one of the following values depending upon the User’s choice of selection : 500m, 1km, 2km, 5km, 10km .

13. Is Aarogya Setu available in multiple languages?

Aarogya Setu is currently available in twelve languages: English, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Odia, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam and Assamese. The App will soon be made available in all 22 scheduled languages of India.

14. Where can I read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy of Aarogya Setu?

The Terms of Service are accessible from https://static1.swaraksha.gov.in/tnc/and the Privacy Policy is accessible from https://static1.swaraksha.gov.in/privacy/

15. How do I share feedback and suggestions for Aarogya Setu?

You can leave a comment on the PlayStore / AppStore. You can also send us an email at: support[dot]AarogyaSetu[at]gov[dot]in. Team Aarogya Setu is committed to reviewing and responding to your queries as soon as possible.

16. The App is showing “You are Safe” on my mobile, but it is showing “Low risk of infection” on my parent’s phone. We are staying in the same house and we have not gone out of our house during the last 2 weeks. How’s this possible that it shows different risk levels for different members of the family?

The risk status is calculated based on various factors, including the age, pre-existing medical condition and other responses which has been provided by the User during the selfassessment. It also correlates this with the proximity of the User near any potential COVID19 hotspots or COVID19 infected persons. As you and your parents may have provided different responses in the self-assessment questionnaire, it is quite possible that you both may get different risk status.

17. I’m not COVID-19 positive, but the App is showing that I’m COVID-19 positive. My mobile number was used by my relative during his COVID-19 Sample testing, He has tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do if the App is showing a wrong COVID-19 status.

Aarogya Setu updates the COVID-19 data received from the health authorities. Kindly contact your local District Surveillance Officer (DSO) or State Surveillance Officer (SSO), for correcting the discrepancies (if any). The list of State wise Disease Surveillance Officers are available at the following link :

State Surveillance Officer details

https://idsp.nic.in/index1.php?lang=1&level=1&sublinkid=6614&lid=4552

Privacy

1. What personal information does Aarogya Setu collect from users?

To register for the App, you are needed to provide your mobile number. In addition, you are also asked for your name, gender, age, profession, countries visited in last 30 days and willingness to volunteer in times of need. This information is encrypted and stored on the Aarogya Setu server.

When you take the optional Self-Assessment Test, the App collects your response to the Test and records your location. This information is encrypted and stored on the Aarogya Setu server. When your smartphone on which the App is active with Bluetooth and GPS services turned on, comes within range of another such mobile or handheld device on which the app is installed, the App collects from such other device the anonymized Device ID of the other user and details of the interaction (time, duration, distance and location). This information is encrypted and stored on your device.

2. How does Aarogya Setu anonymise your personal information?

When you provide your mobile number at registration, the Aarogya Setu server assigns an anonymous, randomized unique device identity number (DiD) and associates it with your mobile number. This pair – the mobile number and DiD – is securely stored in the Aarogya Setu server as encrypted data. Other personal information that you have provided at the time of registration is also paired with the DiD assigned to your device, and is securely encrypted and stored on the server.

All interactions between two devices that have the Aarogya Setu app installed, and between the device and the Aarogya Setu server are done using DiD only. No personal information is used for any communication or transaction.

It is only when you test positive for COVID-19 or have a high likelihood of risk of infection, your DiD is re-identified with your personal information to administer necessary medical intervention for you.

3. What are the privacy features built into Aarogya Setu?

Aarogya Setu has been developed with “privacy-first by design” as a key principle. Aarogya Setu has implemented some of the best and widely accepted privacy features and practices, including anonymization, data minimization, purpose and use limitation and data retention principles.

The 4 key ways in which Aarogya Setu protects the privacy of its users are :

  • a. Personal information you provide at registration is immediately anonymized and all subsequent transaction are related to a specific Device Identification Number (DiD) that is assigned to you by the Aarogya Setu server.
  • b. By default, all contact tracing and location information that is collected, is stored locally on your mobile device. This information is only uploaded to the Aarogya Setu server if you have tested positive for COVID-19. The location information is also recorded when you take the self-assessment and it is sent to the server along with your response to self-assessment.
  • c. All contact tracing and location information stored on the mobile device and not uploaded to the Aarogya Setu servers is permanently deleted from the phone on a rolling 30-day cycle. All your contact tracing and location information that might have been uploaded to the Aarogya Setu server is permanently deleted 45 days from the date of upload, if you have not tested positive for COVID-19 within that period of time. If you are infected, all contact tracing and location information pertaining to you is permanently deleted from the server 60 days after you are declared cured of COVID-19.
  • d. Further, the privacy policy explicitly limits the purposes for which this data will be used i.e. only for assisting you and generating insights to help the Government of India in its COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

4. How does Aarogya Setu secure your information?

All information stored on your mobile device is protected using Advanced Encryption Standard(AES) encryption. All the data stored on the device is AES encrypted using the key chains of the operating system.

All the data transmission from the device to server and back is anonymised, encrypted and transmitted securely. Every single request from the app to the server is authenticated. The backend data storage at rest is also encrypted .

The Aarogya Setu team has done end-to-end testing of the system both internally and through reputed academic institutions/security audit companies/ ethical hackers, to check for the presence of security vulnerabilities. A Security Audit is carried out before each updated build release of the App and only after obtaining proper audit clearance the new version of the App is released for the general public.

5. If GPS information is not required for contact tracing (the Singapore “TraceTogether” app does not collect GPS information) why does Aarogya Setu collect GPS information?

Unlike TraceTogether and the various other similar contact tracing Apps, Aarogya Setu is more than just a contact tracing app. In a country like India which has a huge population, with many densely populated areas, GPS helps to not only identify users who have come in contact with each other but also to trace the paths that infected persons have traversed, so that the authorities can take necessary action to sanitise the areas traversed by the infected person and also identify persons in those areas who might have been infected even though they have not been identified as contacts on the Aarogya Setu app.

In addition, when you take the self-assessment test on the Aarogya Setu app, by co-relating the symptoms that you report with your location information, the Government of India will have the ability to identify potential hotspots (where disease may be spreading) early enough, so that necessary interventions can be done to control and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

It is for these reasons that Aarogya Setu collects GPS information.

6. How long is the information stored on my mobile phone?

Contact and location information of all unique interactions are stored on your mobile phone for 30 days from the date of collection, after which it will be permanently deleted.

7. If the contact and location information stored on my phone is uploaded to the Aarogya Setu server, for how long is it stored on the server?

If your contact and location information has been uploaded to the Aarogya Setu server, it will be retained in the server for 45 days from the date of upload, after which the data is permanently deleted from the Aarogya Setu server.

In case if you have tested positive for COVID-19, then the data from your phone which is uploaded to the Aarogya Setu Server is permanently deleted after 60 days from the date when you have been declared cured of COVID-19.

8. If I test positive for COVID-19, will Aarogya Setu inform other users of the App that I have tested positive?

Aarogya Setu does not reveal your personal identity or your medical condition to any other user of the App or to the public at large. The Government of India may, for the purpose of implementing suitable medical and administrative interventions, contact persons you have come in contact with but will not inform them of your identity or your condition. Your information is safe with us.

Technical

1. Why am I requested to keep my Bluetooth switched at all times?

Aarogya Setu relies on Bluetooth technology to identify instances of your interactions with other devices that have the App installed. Currently, Bluetooth provides most accurate measure of your close proximity with other devices. Only if it is kept enabled, will it be able to collect the proximity information, as and when you come in contact with other devices which have the App installed.

2. If I keep my Bluetooth switched on at all times, will it not drain the battery of my mobile phone?

The Aarogya Setu app uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a variant that has negligible battery drain. In addition we are continuously working on improving device efficiency and will roll out these features in future updates.

3. Why am I requested to set my location sharing to “Always”? Is my location being continuously monitored?

Even though the App requests you to set your location sharing to Always, the App records your location only once in every 30 minutes. This location data is securely stored on the User’s phone and it will be used only if the User has tested positive for COVID-19 or if he/she is at a high risk of getting infected. All location information whether stored on your device or uploaded to the Aarogya Setu server is associated with your Device ID and not your personal information. The location data sent to the server, is used to identify the locations where you might have caught the infection, trace other individuals who may have come in close contact with you and identify potential hotspots that may be developing when multiple infected people visit the same place. Based on this knowledge, the Government authorities can plan appropriate medical and administrative interventions to control the spread of infection.

4. Why does the FAQ (above) state that location data is collected every 30 minutes whereas the privacy policy states that it is collected every 15 minutes? What is the reason for this inconsistency between the FAQ and the Privacy Policy?

The Privacy Policy is designed to operate as a strict limitation on the data collection practices of the Aarogya Setu app. However, the team is committed to only collect as much data as is required to serve the stated purpose and where that purpose can be served by collecting location data less frequently, the team is committed to do so. Accordingly, even though the Privacy Policy states that location data will be collected every 15 minutes, at this present point in time the App only collects data in 30 minute intervals and this fact has been reflected in the FAQ. At a future point in time, if, for instance, the epidemic is raging, there may be a requirement to collect location data at shorter intervals, in which case the frequency will be increased unto a maximum limit of every 15 minutes as stated in the privacy policy.

5. Which operating systems does Aarogya Setu support?

Aarogya Setu is available for iOS, Android and KaiOS users. Aarogya Setu currently supports Android 5.0 and above, and iOS 10.3 and above. It is also available as a service for users with feature phones and landlines. They can call the Aarogya Setu IVRS platform on 1921 and do their self-assessment.

6. Since the Device ID is static and never changes would this not pose a security vulnerability?

Given the current volumes of persons who have tested positive for COVID-19, the use of a static Device ID is not an immediate concern. But at the same time, the Aarogya Setu team is working to address this and is evaluating rolling out a mechanism for dynamic Device Ids for a user with limited lifetimes generated in runtime.

7. There are news reports of the App being hacked by a Hacker, is this true?

Absolutely not. Such news reports are baseless. So far there has been no verified instance of anyone hacking Aarogya Setu. The reports of the alleged hacking, so far have only revealed the user’s own data, which is the user’s prerogative to know. But until now, there has been no instance of hacking in which one user was able to access the personal data of other users. Aarogya Setu has maintained utmost transparency when it comes to security and privacy. In the past, Aarogya Setu has already come out with public statements, clearly explaining the security issue and Aarogya Setu’s stand on the same. Some of those statements are available in the following links:

https://twitter.com/setuaarogya/status/1254392896096100352

https://twitter.com/SetuAarogya/status/1257755315614801921

8. Can I find out how many people in a particular house is infected with COVID-19?

Aarogya Setu has been designed to provide you with the COVID-19 status in your locality and you have an option of selecting the radius of 500m, 1km, 2km, 5km, 10km distance from your present location, based on which the COVID19 statistics are shown. The App does not show you any option for searching the COVID19 status of the individuals living in a particular house. Also the option for the radius distance (i.e., 500m, 1km, 2km, 5km, 10km) provided cannot be manipulated in any manner.

Troubleshooting

1. While installing the App, I am receiving a message that my device is rooted and I can’t proceed any further. What do I do now?

Aarogya Setu cannot be installed on rooted/ jailbroken phones as they pose a security vulnerability and may compromise the security and privacy features of the App.

If your device is not rooted, and you are still getting this message, please delete the App, restart your phone and then download and re-install the latest version of the App from PlayStore / AppStore. If the issue persists, please send us an email at support.AarogyaSetu@gov.in with the model of your mobile phone and the version of the operating system it is running.

2. When I am trying to download Aarogya Setu from AppStore / PlayStore, I get the message: “this app is not available in your country”. I am currently in India. How do I resolve this?

Aarogya Setu is available only for use in India. Please check and change your country settings if you are unable to download the App while you are in India.

For iOS devices, the country setting can be changed by visiting Setting > iTunes & App Stores > clicking on Apple Id highlighted in blue > View Apple Id > Country and Region > Change Country or Region.

For Android devices, open Google Play Store, tap Menu > Account > Country and Profiles.

3. I would like to report some issues or security bugs in the Aarogya Setu App. How can I report this?

Please mail the details of the issue, along with screenshot, Proof of Concept and other supporting evidences to : support[dot]AarogyaSetu[at]gov[dot]in, mention “Security Vulnerability” in the subject line.

4. The App is frequently crashing or showing a blank screen or behaves erratically. What should I do to fix this?

Please follow the following steps:

  • Ensure that the Aarogya Setu App is updated with the latest version.
  • Please check whether your Operating System (Android/iOS/KaiOS) is updated with the latest patches and updates.
  • Ensure that you have provided all necessary permissions to the App.
  • Ensure your phone is connected to the internet.
  • Check whether any third-party Antivirus or security App or Phone Cleaner App or Battery optimization App is interfering with the functioning of the Aarogya Setu App. If required Whitelist Aarogya Setu App in such third-party applications.
  • If your Phone Storage is more than 90% full, then remove some unwanted files/Apps and free up your storage space.
  • If your Phone has less RAM, then try stopping Apps running in the background.
  • Go to the settings-> Under Applications select Aarogya Setu and force stop the Application. Then Clear the Application Cache. Now restart the Application.
  • If the problem still persists, then please mail the details of the problem, along with screenshot to : support[dot]AarogyaSetu[at]gov[dot]in

5. I’m staying in Gujarat, but the location data on the Aarogya Setu App is shown for Maharashtra? The App is showing wrong location data.

Go to the Settings -> Select Application Manager -> Select Maps -> Clear the Cache of the Map.

Once Cache is cleared, then close the App and re-launch it.