Singapore says police will have access to contact monitoring data for Covid 19 calls.


Nearly 80% of the nation’s population uses privacy issues as the TraceTogether method
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Singapore has confirmed that police will use data collected for criminal investigations through the Coronavirus contact detection technology – a move that is likely to raise system-related privacy concerns. Eighty percent of the 5.7 million residents of Singapore use the technology, which is implemented as both a phone app and a physical device, authorities said, after announcing that its use in locations such as shopping malls will become mandatory. Privacy issues have been posed by the TraceTogether method, one of the most frequently used in a country, but authorities have said that data is encrypted and stored locally, and can only be accessed by authorities if people test positive for Covid-19. In response to a question in Parliament, the Singaporean police are allowed to access all data, including TraceTogether data, for criminal investigations,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan said Monday in response to a question in Parliament.The privacy statement on TraceTogether’s website says: “The data will only be used for contact monitoring for Covid-19. “Privacy concerns have been raised about such apps in a number of places, including Israel and South Korea,” it said. The concerns focused on data protection issues related to the collection, use and storage of data,” law firm Norton Rose Fullbright said last month in a report on global contact-tracking technology about the Singapore operation. Asked about the privacy policy of TraceTogether by an opposition MP, Tan said, “We do not prohibit the use of TraceTogether data where citizens’ security is or ha ha ha is.

Previously, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that privacy issues need to be balanced against the need to curb the spread of the virus and keep the economy open. In recent months, only a handful of local Covid 19 cases have been identified in Singapore, and its robust disease surveillance and contact-tracking efforts have been internationally lauded, including by the World Health Organization. Last year, the New South Wales Department of Health said that a big concern with the app – which, if used by law enforcement, would also have privacy consequences – was wrongly recognizing close contacts. “There were neighbors in the same apartment buildings or nearby houses, there were office workers who worked on different floors in the case, there were people who were in different restaurants with the case, [or]that was still on the same street or maybe a few doors down or even across the street from the case,” said researcher Jana Sisnowski. Using Reuters.


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