What you need to know about Singapore’s TraceTogether tokens

16-Sep-2020 Intellasia | Yahoo News Singapore | 10:21 AM Print This Post

The authorities began distributing TraceTogether tokens on Monday (14 September) as part of efforts at tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some things you need to know about the devices.

Where can I collect the tokens?

Distribution of the tokens will start with the Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar regions, where there is a higher concentration of elderly residents who may have more challenges using the TraceTogether app and are also more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Residents can go to the TokenGoWhere website for more details on the collection sites and timing.

The authorities will progressively roll the devices out nationwide and aim to complete distribution by November.

How do the devices work?

Similar to the TraceTogether app for smartphones, which is available for download on Google Play and the App Store, the tokens work by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals between other participating tokens or app users in close proximity.

The tokens will encrypt the data of nearby devices and information older than 25 days will be deleted automatically.

The devices do not record users’ locations. Personal details are also not stored on the tokens.

If an owner tests positive for COVID-19, the authorities will decrypt the data collected to conduct contact tracing.

The tokens are also waterproof and come with a battery life of six months.

Why is the government doing this?

About 2.4 million people, or 40 per cent of the total resident population, have downloaded the TraceTogether app. But not all users switch it on throughout the day. Some users may experience issues with the app. And some older residents may not use smartphones.

Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan said last week, “And therein lies the nub of the challenge, because the more people are actively on TraceTogether, exponentially, the protective effect increases. So, even at today with 2.4 million downloads, in my opinion, that’s still not sufficient.”

With the tokens, the government hopes that 70 per cent of the total population will use TraceTogether, making contact tracing for COVID-19 more efficient and effective.



Category: Singapore

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