TraceTogether Data Can Be Used In Case Of Security Or Safety Threat
TraceTogether has been essential in Singapore’s fight against the spread of Covid-19, helping authorities conduct contact tracing efforts.
As it turns out, police are also able to access TraceTogether data if they need to.
During a Parliament sitting on 4 Jan, Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan said data from the contact tracing app and token can be used by police to aid criminal investigations.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) are able to do so under the Criminal Procedure Code.
TraceTogether data can be used by police
On 4 Jan, Mr Tan said in Parliament that the police is empowered by the Criminal Procedure Code to obtain any data, reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
This includes data from the TraceTogether app and token.
However, he also added the government has strict measures pertaining to the protection of this personal data.
Only authorised officers can access TraceTogether data
One such measure includes only allowing authorised officers to access TraceTogether data, according to CNA.
Furthermore, the data will only be used for authorised purposes and will be stored on a secure data platform.
He added that officers who disclose data without permission may be dealt with a fine of up to $5,000, receive 2 years’ jail, or both.
Responding to a question about the data usage violating the TraceTogether’s privacy statement, Mr Tan said the government will not make it impossible to access such data in cases where a person’s safety may be compromised.
If such a situation occurs, authorised police officers may then invoke the Criminal Procedure Code for their criminal investigations.
But this must be for the “safety and security” of citizens.
Other than that, Mr Tan said TraceTogether’s main purpose is still contact tracing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Proper measures are in place
While it may be alarming that our personal data may potentially be used by the police for investigations, we must keep in mind that such decisions were made to ensure citizens’ safety.
While security as well as possible abuse are concerns, police officers are only authorised to use TraceTogether data in cases where there’s a security or safety threat.
This also applies to any other personal data that authorities hold on citizens, and so this won’t necessarily mean that TraceTogether data will definitely be used.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook.