Aggregated News

Singapore panorama

Singapore has announced its police will be able to use data obtained by its coronavirus contact-tracing technology for criminal investigations, a decision likely to increase privacy concerns around the system.

The technology, deployed as both a phone app and a physical device, is being used by nearly 80% of the 5.7 million population, authorities said, after announcing its use would become compulsory in places such as shopping malls.

The TraceTogether scheme, one of the most widely used in any country, has raised privacy fears but authorities have said the data is encrypted, stored locally and tapped by authorities only if individuals test positive for Covid-19.

“The Singapore police force is empowered ... to obtain any data, including TraceTogether data, for criminal investigations,” the minister of state for home affairs, Desmond Tan, said on Monday in response to a question in parliament.

The privacy statement on the TraceTogether website says: “Data will only be used for Covid-19 contact tracing.”

Privacy concerns have been raised about such apps in various places, including Israel and South Korea.

“Concerns have focused on data security... see more