Upcoming Legislative Provisions for Usage of Data from Digital Contact Tracing Solutions

Back to Press Releases Singapore, 8 January 2021

We acknowledge our error in not stating that data from TraceTogether is not exempt from the Criminal Procedure Code.

 

 2. In Parliament on 5 January, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister for Home Affairs and for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, assured the House and the public that the use of TraceTogether data in criminal investigations would be restricted to serious offences.

 

3. The Government will pass legislation to formalise these assurances. The legislation will specify that personal data collected through digital contact tracing solutions, which comprise the TraceTogether Programme and the SafeEntry Programme, can only be used for the specific purpose of contact tracing, except where there is a clear and pressing need to use that data for criminal investigation of serious offences. It is not in the public interest to completely deny the Police access to such data, when the safety of the public or the proper conduct of justice is at stake. If a serious criminal offence has been committed, the Police must be able to use this data to bring the perpetrators to justice, seek redress for the victims, and protect society at large.

 

4. The legislation will set out a full list of seven categories of serious offences for which the personal data collected for COVID-19 contact tracing can be used for Police investigations, inquiries, or court proceedings (please refer to Annex for the categories of offences). The data cannot be used in the investigations, inquiries or court proceedings of any other offence besides these seven categories. The legislation will be introduced in the next Parliament sitting in February on a Certificate of Urgency.

 

5. We value the trust that the public has placed in the TraceTogether programme, and feedback from members of the public. Dr Vivian and Mr Shanmugam held a public consultation today with members of the press, the legal fraternity, technology experts, and academia, to hear their views on the matter. The views gathered will inform the debate on the upcoming legislation.

 

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For media enquiries, please contact:

 

 Goh Yu Chong (Mr)

 Senior Manager, Public and International Communications

 Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Prime Minister’s Office

 Tel: 9644 1674

 Email: goh_yu_chong@pmo.gov.sg

 

 Chia Suat Ning (Ms)

 Manager, Public and International Communications

 Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Prime Minister’s Office

 Tel: 8182 8052

 Email: chia_suat_ning@pmo.gov.sg

 


Last updated on 22 Jan 2021