Factsheet - Enhancements to the TraceTogether Application
Factsheet-Enhancements To The TraceTogether Application
05 Jun 2020
As Singapore eases its circuit breaker measures and allows the resumption of more businesses and activities, it is even more critical that contact tracing be conducted quickly, and comprehensively.
TraceTogether was the first digital tool launched to support the national contact tracing programme. However, there are certain limitations with the iOS version of the app that only works when the app is running in the foreground. The necessity for a smart phone is another hurdle for universal participation. Consequently, we are developing a wearable device that will overcome these challenges. If the device works well, we may then distribute it nationwide for universal coverage.
In the meantime, we have updated the TraceTogether app to facilitate the work of the contact tracing team.
TraceTogether App Enhancements
Launched on 20 March 2020, TraceTogether uses Bluetooth signals between mobile phones to detect other TraceTogether users who are nearby. The app provides contact tracers with a set of proximity data to plug gaps in activity-mapping by identifying prolonged contact between users.
The TraceTogether app has been updated to include the following features:
- Registration with NRIC/FIN and Passport number for travellers visiting Singapore
- NRIC/FIN barcode for quick and secure check-in at SafeEntry locations
- Launch of Chinese, Malay and Tamil versions
The use of identification numbers for registration is an important new feature as it facilitates quick and accurate contact tracing and allows greater interoperability between TraceTogether and SafeEntry. By verifying each user’s identity at the point of onboarding, contact tracers can more accurately identify and inform the close contacts even if their phone numbers change or if the phone is switched off.
When setting up the app, users will be asked to consent that they will share the proximity data with MOH should they test positive for Covid-19. The user will be notified when it is necessary for the data to be uploaded for contact tracing.
These enhancements help accelerate the contact tracing process by automatically generating a preliminary list of close contacts for quarantine. This reduces the time taken to isolate cases, and enables us to gradually resume our work and community activities with greater confidence.
TraceTogether users will also be able to use the NRIC/FIN barcode displayed in the app instead of their identity cards to check in/out of the SafeEntry system. SafeEntry keeps a record of visitors entering and exiting certain locations, and helps the contact tracing team identify potential cluster venues. Both work in tandem to help the authorities with quicker, more comprehensive contact tracing.
The app has also been translated into all four official languages to make it easier for non-English speakers to use. We will also be providing collaterals in multiple languages to help foreign workers who have to download the app as part of Safe Management Measures.
How is personal data used and safeguarded?
The data collected through the TraceTogether app is encrypted and stored locally in the user’s phone for 25 days on a rolling basis. The data will only be transferred from the user’s phone to MOH and accessed by the authorities if the individual is confirmed to be infected with Covid-19, and only a small number of authorised personnel will have access to the data for contact tracing purposes. All public sector data protection rules will apply to the data held by MOH, including abiding by the recommendations of the Public Sector Data Security Review Committee. The data will be purged from MOH’s databases or retained in an anonymised form when it is no longer required for contact-tracing.
How to participate in TraceTogether
Users can follow the steps below to set up the app.
Re-onboarding for existing TraceTogether app users
Existing TraceTogether users will receive a notification to update the app if they have not done so, and to provide the additional registration information to continue using the app.
For more information, please visit tracetogether.gov.sg.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Goh Yu Chong (Mr)
Senior Manager, Adoption and Engagement Directorate
Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore
Mobile: 9644 1674
TAN Boon Leng (Mr)
Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing Group
Tel: 6211 0375