Thursday, February 2, 2023

Singapore Police Now Have Access To Contact Tracing Data

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The news: Police will be able to access data collected by Singapore’s Covid-19 contact tracing system for use in criminal investigations, a senior official said Monday. The announcement contradicts the privacy policy originally laid out when the government launched its TraceTogether app in March 2020, and is criticized as a step backwards just after participation in contact tracing was made mandatory.

Officials said that while the policy had stated that the data would only be “used for the purpose of tracing contacts of those potentially exposed to covid-19,” the legal reality in Singapore is that police can access all data for criminal investigations – and that contact tracing data was no different. Its privacy policy has been changed January 4, 2021 to clarify “how the Code of Criminal Procedure applies to all data under Singapore jurisdiction”.

Beginner: TraceTogether can be accessed through a smartphone app or small portable device, and is used by nearly 80% of Singapore’s 5.7 million people. It was the first of the main Bluetooth contact tracing apps unveiled in spring 2020, and its data is more centralized than the Apple-Google system used in many other places around the world. Singapore has ruled out using the Apple-Google system itself because the officials there said they wanted more detailed information about the infection). Participation in contact tracing was once voluntary, but the government spilled that at the end of last year and there are now mandatory registrations to most places where people work, shop and congregate.

The country’s approach to the pandemic has been forceful in many ways, not just when it comes to contact tracing technology. For example, people caught without a mask in public can face heavy fines.


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