Singapore is one of the first countries to release its COVID-19 contact tracing app named Trace Together to curb the spread of the virus in the country but now seems like the app might not be enough to help revive the economy as the COVID-19 pandemic relaxes in the country.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has admitted that the city-state is reaching close to the release of a wearable contact tracing device that may soon be handed over to “Every resident in Singapore.” There is no confirmation that the device will be mandatory but it amounts to giving more than 5.7 million residents a gadget whether they want to use it or not.
The new plan comes after the government failed to make residents keep using the TraceTogether app, Lawrence Wong, development minister of Singapore told SCMP that 75 percent of the population needs to use the app to be effective.
The government has announced various measures to ensure privacy concerns with the app that it keeps data encrypted, stores it on-device, and won’t ask for it unless someone is infected, while the objectors have worried about other privacy issues (such as the potential for a breach), the battery drain from constant proximity checking and a lack of background scanning on iPhones.
According to the plans, the wearable device can be worn on a lanyard or carried in a bag and isn’t dependent on a phone but since the device will be tracking citizens it raises concern over the privacy of citizens even for a limited period of time.