The Indian government has made it mandatory for all public and private sector employees to use the Aarogya Setu app yesterday when it issued the order to further extend the ongoing lockdown for 2 weeks.

“Use of Aarogya Setu app shall be made mandatory for all employees, both private and public. It shall be the responsibility of the Head of the respective organizations to ensure 100% coverage of this app among the employees.”, reads the guideline.

The government had previously made the app mandatory for all central government employees on Wednesday and with this announcement, the scope of the app just got increased. Also, the app will be mandatory for everyone living in containment zones.

In the latest guideline, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed private offices in Red zones to operate with 33 percent strength. “Private offices can operate with up to 33% strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home”, the ministry added.

Ever since the inception of the Aarogya Setu app, there have been several concerns among privacy advocates regarding the privacy policies of the app. “The Aarogya Setu app which was initially touted as a voluntary measure has been made effectively been made mandatory for gig workers and government employees. This is despite failing to adhere to data protection standards and lacking algorithmic accountability.”, says the Internet Freedom Foundation.

Meanwhile, the app may reportedly be pre-installed in new phones that are set to go on sale in the country, with an unskippable step to register to the app to start using the phone.