The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Desmond Tan, stirred the internet yesterday when he made an interesting statement about the TraceTogether tool. He acknowledged in Parliament that the Singapore Police Force (SPF) could use the TraceTogether data for their investigations, under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Despite reassuring that there are safeguards to avoid breaching privacy, safety and security by officers; this is a risky move. Sure, the motive is a righteous one, but it begs the question as to why? It’s not like SPF doesn’t already have an arsenal of technology to conduct investigations.
One could argue that there isn’t much data in TraceTogether for us to be worried about, but it is still part of your privacy getting controlled. The TraceTogether was designed to contain the pandemic, and the increased intake was meant to ease us into Phase 3. No one mentioned that it was going to be commandeered for another purpose once everyone started using.
Now, the real question is, what’s next? First, it was only for contact tracing, and now it has evolved to criminal investigations.