Only TraceTogether Check-Ins Will Be Accepted From June 1

As of June 1, only SafeEntry registrations through the app or the TraceTogether token would be allowed in high-risk establishments.

All other registration modes such as using the Singpass app and scanning NRICs will then no longer be valid, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government (SNDGG) said.

These high-risk establishments refer to places with high volume of visitors, where people will be very close to each other.

This includes places like schools, shopping malls, places of worship, gyms, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and event venues.

SafeEntry check-ins via TraceTogether should be made at the entrance to these locations. Users will then no longer need to make further registrations in the stores and sub-establishments of the main site.

This new rule will help improve the efficiency of supplier operations and the convenience of customers.

According to the MOH and SNDGG, this new initiative will also help streamline the contact tracing process.

While the TraceTogether app collects data from nearby contacts, SafeEntry in TraceTogether identifies the list of places visited. Together, all interaction and location data will be synchronized seamlessly on the same platform to facilitate contact tracing and identify cluster links.

This new approach should also reduce contact tracing from four days to just a day and a half.

Earlier this year, the government stipulated that TraceTogether’s adoption rate must reach at least 70% before Phase 3 can be rolled out.

Currently, over 90% of the population has downloaded the TraceTogether app and / or collected the TraceTogether token.

What does this mean for our privacy?

location tracking
Image Credit: MobileAppDaily

On the TraceTogether privacy website, it pointed out that they don’t collect GPS location data.

While the SafeEntry feature logs our visited locations, it is governed by its own terms of service and is currently optional for users.

TraceTogether has stated that the data collected will be used strictly by the MOH for contact tracing. However, an exception is made when the data is necessary for a police investigation or criminal proceedings.

The policy already sparked outrage among Singaporeans when it was introduced earlier in January. Indeed, in June 2020, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that TraceTogether data would only be used for contact tracing at a press conference.

He released another statement in January 2021, assuring Singaporeans that the TraceTogether app and token are not designed for the government to track users because they do not reveal the live location of users.

However, with the recently enforced SafeEntry regulation, TraceTogether will be able to collect data to record the user’s location and movement history.

Featured Image Credit: Gov.sg / Bloomberg

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Jothi Venkat

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