It’ll make it easier for the government to trace the spread of the virus
Singapore has been lauded for its containment strategy for COVID-19 thanks to a combination of aggressive testing, quarantine and contact tracing. It’s no surprise then that the Philippine government is looking to adopt one of the tools that the island state used to trace people that COVID-19 positive patients interacted with and had close contact with.
TraceTogether is an app created by SGUnited, GovTech and Singapore’s Ministry of Health to help their government find and track close contacts that a patient could have interacted within the previous two weeks. The app uses Bluetooth to track people who have been in close proximity around you (including timestamps) and if the need arises, the owners of the phones are notified.
While the app sounds like a privacy nightmare, the developers assure the public that data is only stored on your phone for 21 days and is not accessed unless you are identified as close contact. And while the app isn’t supposed to completely replace manual contact tracing, it helps quite a lot since most people can’t remember what they ate two days ago, let alone who they interacted with.
DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan has already written to the Singaporean Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei Hong about the government’s intent on utilizing the app against our fight with the virus. The Singaporean gov’t on their part said that it was willing to provide technical assistance to the DICT regarding the app.