Home News Netizen: Distrust over TraceTogether Token shows Singaporeans are not happy and feel...

Netizen: Distrust over TraceTogether Token shows Singaporeans are not happy and feel they are under surveillance

"The continued incursions into public trust has proved that just when the State needed the buy-in of its citizens the most, it cannot receive it,” said Lim Jialiang in a Facebook post

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Singapore—Some Singaporeans have questioned the new TraceTogether Token recently introduced by the Government. The Bluetooth device is designed to function like the TraceTogether app but not everyone has a cellular phone that can effectively supply data that is needed for contact tracing, said Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan when he spoke at the multi-ministry task force (MTF) press conference on Monday (June 8), hence the need for a standalone token that people can carry with them in their bags or wear around their necks on a lanyard.

I keep thinking about the TraceTogether dongle and whilst the data protection is really robust, it also requires us to…

Posted by Lim Jialiang on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dr Balakrishnan added, “It is not a tracking device. It is not an electronic tag, as some of the Internet commentaries have fretted about.”

One netizen named Lim Jialiang said on Facebook on June 10 that while the device’s “data protection is really robust,” it “also requires us to hope that the government will use the data in good faith,” which gives rise to more problematic issues.

Mr Lim wrote, “Can I trust that the police, in good faith, will not take my dongle away at that point?

Can I trust that MOH, in good faith, will not surrender the decryption code that will allow them to have a snapshot of the people that said activist has met over the past 25 days?

Can I trust that MHA, in good faith, will not introduce this as part of their tools for surveillance?

Can I hope that Minlaw, in good faith, will not retroactively create broad-reaching legislation that will legitimate these actions?

The unfortunate answer is no.”

- Advertisement -

Mr Lim went on to say that he had had a conversation with a civil servant, who had questioned why people were expressing dissatisfaction with the contact tracing device.

“They have accepted so much incursions into their public and private lives by the State already, why now? Rather than see this as irrational, why not see this as the straw that broke the camel’s back?”

For him, the hue and cry over the token “has shown very clearly that Singaporeans are not happy to be surveilled (sic) more” and that  “the continued incursions into public trust has proved that just when the State needed the buy-in of its citizens the most, it cannot receive it.”

Mr Lim compared this to the situation in other places such as South Korea and Taiwan, which have “even more invasive surveillance methods,” but however in their “democratically elected and governed polity there are checks and balances.”

Furthermore, the decision to use “cellular data to triangulate suspected patients” was only arrived at in South Korea “after a long and arduous debate in parliament” after the country suffered from the MERS outbreak.

To end his post, Mr Lim wrote, “Even today in South Korea some are debating whether the details of some of their contact tracing is excessive and an invasion of privacy. This is exactly why the PAP should learn restraint and not always spend political capital. You never know when you need it.” —/TISG

Read also: TraceTogether Token “not an electronic tag”: Some people not convinced

TraceTogether Token “not an electronic tag”: Some people not convinced

 

 

 

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

National reserves: Whatever their strategic value, Singaporeans have right to know how they are managed

  The ruling People’s Action Party is weaponising knowledge of the exact amount of Singapore’s national reserves as a way of helping it stay in power. That’s unacceptable. It does not have such an in perpetuity right. One of the debates in...

Jolin Tsai’s perky butt got the internet abuzz

Taipei -- Mandopop diva Jolin Tsai isn't shy of flaunting her figure in all kinds of sexy and revealing outfits and her fans are just lapping it up. The 40-year-old singer uploaded a couple of photos from her trip to Yangmingshan...

Man attacks teen, calls him a virus, damages his phone

Singapore—A sudden attack took a teen by surprise when one man started yelling at him, physically harming him, and throwing his phone into a nearby drain at around 10.30pm on Tuesday (Feb 23) on a section of the road near the...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent