This Programmer Hacked the Aarogya Setu App to Not Collect Location and Bluetooth Data

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In its makes an attempt in direction of contact tracing for COVID-19 sufferers within the nation, the Indian authorities launched the Aarogya Setu app. The app, which began off as a voluntary set up was quickly made obligatory by the federal government for each private and non-private sector workers.

Since its launch, the app has raised a number of privateness associated questions on its invasive assortment of location knowledge and Bluetooth info from gadgets. More scary is the governments monitor report of maintaining person knowledge protected, and the a number of Aadhar breaches have made the general public much more cautious of presidency developed apps and their safety insurance policies and safeguards.

Now, in an try to make the app much less invasive, a Bangalore based mostly programmer has hacked its supply code. The programmer, who spoke to media beneath a pseudonym, stated that his intention was to make the app present him as ‘Safe’ with out accumulating his GPS and Bluetooth knowledge within the course of.

To do that, he dived into the supply code for the app, and first eliminated the registration web page that asks customers to register with their telephone quantity. He then eliminated permissions comparable to location and Bluetooth permissions that the app asks for. At the top of the day, he had turned the app into one thing that doesn’t gather any info however nonetheless flashes the inexperienced ‘Safe’ badge on the highest.

He has shared the altered app with round 15 of his mates, however is making an attempt to maintain the app personal with the intention to not undermine the governments efforts both. However, he has stated that he’ll sustain with the app. In case the federal government makes any main adjustments or updates to the app, he’ll try to discover workarounds round that as nicely.

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