While the Covid-19 pandemic is still just as virulent around the world, the Singapore government is making the decision to make better use of the data collected thanks to their contact tracking application. Some cybersecurity experts feared this could come true … Singapore just announced that TraceTogether data could serve to Police officers as part of future criminal investigations.
TraceTogether is becoming a mass surveillance tool
It is clearly the beginning of a policy of Mass surveillance. That is exactly what happened The weather a few months ago. These Swiss media made the headlines on May 6, 2020: “In Singapore, app tracking is degenerating into mass surveillance.”. Indeed, on April 21, 2020, while TraceTogether was unappealing, Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, decided to go further by insisting: “We need to take full advantage of technology to track the journey of people infected with the virus.”. A senior national health official had even requested that TraceTogether be made mandatory.
Telegram: A vulnerability exposes your precise geolocation to hackers
Result, until today the TraceTogether application has no fewer than 4.2 million users compared to just under 1 million in April. The government has successfully placed its bet. The city-state decides today to go one step further. The data collected will no longer only be used to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, but also to combat it local police in connection with criminal investigation. Singapore has confirmed that its law enforcement agencies can access the data collected by the contact tracing application.
The city-state goes far beyond its original commitment
Like the French application TousAntiCovid, TraceTogether uses Bluetooth to discover other users who have also downloaded the application within 2 meters. This allows Identify people who have been in contact. It is easy to see how such data could be used in a criminal investigation that the police are about to conduct. However, before launching the app, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan insisted “Do the data only displayed if the user tests positive“” .
First of all, the minister also said: “Only a very limited team of doctors will have access to the data”. He thought this was necessary to identify the activity of a positive contact… The speech has changed slightly today. Home Secretary Desmond Tan believes that under the Code of Criminal Procedure, Singapore Police can obtain any data, including data from TraceTogether.
When a journalist asks the Home Secretary the question his opinion on the obligation to keep data confidentialHere is his answer: “The security of our citizens is more important. Therefore, we are not excluding the use of data from TraceTogether if that security is compromised.”. Singapore police have played a key role since the pandemic began. It actually helps the authorities identify the sick. On the other side this time The city-state goes far beyond its original commitment and violates the privacy of its fellow citizens.