Singapore Launches Contact Tracing App To Battle Covid-19

Source: Bloomberg

In a move to combat the contagious coronavirus, Singapore has launched a contact tracing mobile app called Trace Together.

The app works by exchanging short distance Bluetooth signal between phones to detect other users in close proximity.

The app will then store this information.

When person A tests positive for coronavirus, authorities can use the app to track down everyone who has been in close proximity with person A.

This makes it easier to track down users who may be at risk of contracting the coronavirus. Furthermore, person A may not remember every single place they went to and who they were in close proximity with.

This app is developed by Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) along with the health ministry.

Amidst growing concerns about privacy, authorities have clarified that no data is actually uploaded to the government. All data collected will be stored locally on users’ phone and encrypted.

When a person is diagnosed with Covid-19, then the government will step in and request for the data to be uploaded to so they can trace close contacts.

Minister of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Bala-krishnan has said the app will be open-sourced. It will be made available for free so other countries can make use of it if they want to.

Countries like China, South Korea and Israel have already started some form of tracking measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Sources: Mobi Health News, Los Angeles Times

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