Unwrapped: TraceTogether data, to delete or keep for research?

  • The three types of data collected by TraceTogether are identification and contact details for efficient contact tracing, Bluetooth proximity data with other devices participating in the programme, and analytics data to improve how the App works across different phone models and OS versions.
  • Should TraceTogether be stood down when the pandemic ends, then who owns the data collected by the app?
  • Through our weekly series Unwrapped this week, TheHomeGround Asia takes a look at whether we, as individuals, need to give consent for the data collected by TraceTogether to be used, even for medical research.

In our weekly series Unwrapped, TheHomeGround Asia takes a closer look at major stories and happenings that impact Singaporeans.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced in Parliament on April 4 that Singapore will review TraceTogether and might “stand it down” if no longer needed.

If so, then how will the data enmassed by TraceTogether be handled? Will it be totally deleted?

Previous reports in the mass media had quoted Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, as saying that much of the data collected would be deleted, while some will be retained by the Ministry of Health for epidemiological research purposes.

The questions now are: Can our TraceTogether data be used without our consent? Did we actually give consent when we agreed to download the app or use the tokens provided? Will this then not flout the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)?

RELATED: Unwrapped: GST Tax, its rationale and can Singapore take better care of its citizens

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