Singapore Government launches TraceTogether Mobile App to Slow Coronavirus Spread


Government releases the TraceTogether smartphone app that utilizes Bluetooth signals to collect details from other participating apps in the near vicinity, allowing encrypted information to be raised to enable touch monitoring of coronavirus contract users.

Singapore has created a new smartphone device that will make touch monitoring simpler if its user’s contract coronavirus. Called TraceTogether, the software utilizes Bluetooth signals to recognize other participating mobile devices nearby, and the data can then be used to classify nearby contacts when needed.

The software is capable of calculating the gap between TraceTogether smartphones and the length of these contacts. The data is then collected, secured, and processed locally on the user’s phone for 21 days, covering the incubation time of the virus.

Where required for communication monitoring, users would have to approve the upload of their TraceTogether details to the Singapore Ministry of Health, who will then review the information and collect the mobile numbers of similar contacts during the timeline.

Created by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) alongside the Ministry of Health, the software was developed to help speed up the cycle of touch tracing and curb the spread of COVID-19, said the Government IT Office.

GovTech said that the new procedure relies heavily on the memories of patients who might not be able to recall all similar connections or have the contact details and knowledge of individual people.

The smartphone app will fill the holes and more easily recognize prospective carriers which can then track their safety and take the appropriate steps faster. Prompt identification is critical to halting the transmission of coronavirus, according to the government department.

To preserve personal privacy, the Commission stated that consumers would have to commit to engaging in TraceTogether during the initial configuration of the device and accept to allow their telephone number and collected data used for communication monitoring.

GovTech claimed that only a cell phone user was needed during deployment, and no other data such as name, location, contact list or address book will be obtained. Data logs were kept locally on a cell phone and included only temporary cryptographic IPs.

Data logs can only be collected if needed by the communication monitoring authorities, he added.

TraceTogether is available for free from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Last week, Singapore adopted more robust spacing controls as part of its attempts to curb COVID-19, including allowing event organizers and companies, such as restaurants and cinemas, to take steps to maintain a 1-metre difference between consumers.

Many policy bodies, including the Singapore Tourism Board, have established safe distance initiatives that need to be enforced. Events and conferences, like faith meetings, with more than 250 people, for example, will be discontinued.

Retailers and food and beverage providers, in particular, will have to comply with proposed distance guidelines, such as keeping a 1-meter gap between consumers. Of starters, some restaurants have used floor markings to distinguish consumers standing in lines and dining rooms to classify seats that will not be used to preserve the isolation space.

The Agency confirmed that firms who failed to cooperate should be alerted to the applicable regulatory authority’ for effective action’. It cautioned who tourism suppliers that did not enforce safe distance policies would not be liable for government grants or loan assistance.

The above steps will be implemented in certain circumstances, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in a media conference on Friday:

“It’s not a choice, it’s not a recommendation, it’s compulsory… we don’t want to see busy malls, we don’t want to see full function halls. We would see more work from home, more takeaways.”

Singapore has recently seen a substantial increase in new regular COVID-19 incidents, powered by As of 20 March, 190 imported cases were registered, and 7,065 similar connections were reported, of which 2,437 were currently quarantined. A further 4,628 had fulfilled their quarantine instructions.

There are 252 confirmed infections (in hospitals) as of Monday and have now had the first two deaths from the outbreak, and 131 people are entirely stabilized and released from the facility.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.