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New Bill protects health, security, privacy: Forum

New Bill protects health, security, privacy: Forum

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 05 Feb 2021

To use TraceTogether data only for contact tracing of Covid-19 cases would be narrow-minded when the data could also be responsibly used for the communal good.

I refer to the exchange in Parliament on Feb 2 regarding the use of TraceTogether data.

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan put up two very good points: Singaporeans as a whole would want protection from Covid-19 and lives to be saved from the coronavirus, and we would want our police force to bring perpetrators to justice and exonerate any innocent party who has been wrongly accused, particularly of serious crimes.

The achievement of both of these national and societal objectives would be greatly supported by the community adoption and use of TraceTogether tokens, as well as access to the data by relevant authorities (for example, authorised health and law enforcement officials).

Technology is an enabler of many processes and TraceTogether is one such tool we should tap. To use it only for contact tracing of Covid-19 cases would be narrow-minded when the data could also be responsibly used for the communal good.

In this case, the new law is an assurance of that responsibility in terms of access and application, by outlining the serious crimes under which the data can be accessed, as well as the restricted ranks who are allowed to access such data.

Dr Balakrishnan has apologised and accepted full responsibility.

As we continue to stand against the pandemic and the emergence of new strains, now is not the time to obstruct justice by standing against the new Bill, but to graciously accept the apology and move forward as a community.

Adam Reutens-Tan

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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