TraceTogether data can be used for criminal investigations: Desmond Tan

The TraceTogether token with a policeman. Image: Coconuts
The TraceTogether token with a policeman. Image: Coconuts

If you’re one of millions of Singaporeans actively using the TraceTogether coronavirus tracking system, you’ve just opened yourself up to even more police surveillance. 

Desmond Tan, who is the Minister of State for Home Affairs, just confirmed this during Singapore’s first ever livestreamed parliament proceedings today that data gathered through the app and token could also be used to fight crime. 

“The Singapore Police Force is empowered under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to obtain any data, including TraceTogether (TT) data, for criminal investigations,” Tan said today. “The Government is the custodian of the TT data submitted by individuals, and stringent measures are in place to safeguard this personal data.”

He vaguely added that the data would be stored on a “secured data platform” and can only be used by certain officers for “authorized purposes.” 

Tan was responding to a question posed by Holland-Bukit Timah MP Christopher De Souza on whether data obtained through TraceTogether would be used for criminal investigations. 

Under the Public Sector Act, public officers guilty of unauthorized usage or misusing of data will be fined up to S$5,000 and two years’ jail.

About 78% of Singapore’s residents have adopted the TraceTogether system, COVID-19 taskforce co-chair Lawrence Wong later said in Parliament, adding that about two million people actively use it on their phone. 

Other stories you should check out:

Singapore gets COVID-19 vaccines, relaxed measures for Xmas: PM Lee

Singapore hits 70% adoption goal for government tracking system

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