The Ministry of Health and GovTech recently launched an app TraceTogether to help with contact tracing for the COVID-19 pandemic happening in Singapore. This app is available on Android Playstore and iPhone Appstore.
From what is declared, TraceTogether requests users to have their Bluetooth turned on. Users’ phones will then interact with other phones which have the TraceTogether app installed when they are in close contact.
The government says the apps on these phones will ping each other and swap certain information. The info supposedly collected are mobile numbers and an anonymous ID, while location data is not collected.
In the event TraceTogether users test positive for COVID-19, they are legally obliged to share their data logs with contact tracers. There is uncertainty what the data logs look like. It is also worth noting that personal information can be extrapolated from anonymised data, by using other tracing methods such as CCTV footage and interviews.
In a surveillance State such as ours, will your data truly be anonymised?