Stay vigilant against COVID-19 with TraceTogether

Reported in May 2021, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) announced that the implementation of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry at all higher-risk venues would be brought forward this year in May.

 

TraceTogether mandatory for contact tracing in Singapore

This rendered other modes of SafeEntry check-in redundant, including the scanning of QR codes with a mobile phone camera on the Singpass app. The government also started to offer TraceTogether tokens, which are small digital fobs that serve the same purpose for those who do not own a smartphone or did not want to use the mobile app.

Whilst it was a prompt response to enhance contact tracing, many felt that there was little time to discuss apprehensions or alleviate fears of what this meant in terms of data protection. To ease public concerns over this, the ‘Clarification on the Usage of TraceTogether Data’ was shared by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister- in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, in Parliament in January 2021.

Along with this, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said in Parliament in January 2021 that the “TraceTogether and SafeEntry contact-tracing tools have cost around S$10 million so far — and their results in stopping the spread of Covid-19 speak for themselves.”

 

Addressing TraceTogether concerns and queries

As such, SThree interviewed Senior Mobile Software Engineer, Arthur Grishin, to shed more light on the technology behind TraceTogether. Taking a deep dive into understanding the root of the technology developed by Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (Govtech), we were pleased to debunk some of the myths, fears and apprehensions many have harboured since its introduction.

Watch the interview below as we tackle frequently asked questions of TraceTogether:

  • How does TraceTogether contact tracing work?
  • What happens when you are registered on TraceTogether network?
  • Is my data collected on TraceTogether protected?
  • Is the technology used for TraceTogether only present in Singapore?
  • Is TraceTogether an infringement of privacy?
  • What are the benefits of using TraceTogether?
  • Why is TraceTogether mandatory?
  • If TraceTogether was that necessary, why did the government not implement mandatory usage earlier?
  • Can the government monitor my every move at any point in time with TraceTogether?
  • Will my TraceTogether app drain my phone battery faster than it would without the app?
  • What type of data does my TraceTogether app collect?

 

Do follow Arthur Grishin on his LinkedIn and we hope that you’ve been able to learn and benefit from the session like we did.

 

About Arthur Grishin

With 12 years of experience across different areas of engineering, Arthur first dabbled in App Engineering applying Dev applications. He also had the chance to start a business of his own with a couple of friends and is now based in Singapore as a Mobile Engineer for a well-known local tech company. He has since worked on several applications with high active users for Apple iPhones, while delving in stints across different businesses utilising a myriad of technologies including open source and proprietary solutions.

 

*Real is part of the larger SThree group

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