The COVID-19 pandemic has led countries to present technological solutions for tracking the disease, many of which have generated controversy. In the case of Singapore, the government decreed as mandatory as of this Tuesday, the implementation of a solution that it defines as a "digital check-in system" and that collects personal data in places like schools and offices. The aim is for the system to "facilitate contact tracking efforts".
The explanation appears on the SafeEntry website, the name given to the solution. According to the government, the system collects and verifies data using a QR code, identification card or barcode cards, such as a student pass.
But where does this system become mandatory? The list of locations was chosen based on the greater likelihood that citizens would be closer during longer periods or in closed spaces. On the other hand, the order also extends to spaces with "high human traffic". In this way, citizens will be required to provide information about their name, mobile phone number and identification number.
Places such as schools, offices, hospitals, shopping centers and supermarkets will be some of the "targets". In addition, the system will also be launched progressively in taxis, to better support efforts to track contacts on the streets. In this case, passengers must use the QR codes that will be available in the cars.
Entry to places may be denied if citizens refuse registration
If citizens are not willing to register with the system, entry to sites may be denied. For those who are unable to submit the data, the government makes the suggestion clear. "To respond to visitors who do not have a smartphone capable of reading QR codes, or who do not have a national identification register, the services are advised to have team members at the various points of entry or exit to assist in this process, with a dedicated mobile device for manual verification ".
According to Forbes, this measure comes after the weak adhesion to the application developed in the Asian country. The app was only downloaded by 20 to 25% of the population, when estimates point to the need for this rate to be between 56% and 80% to be effective.
Portugal will also have a COVID-19 combat application
The use of applications to identify infected users and the contacts they made during the contagious period has been controversial. The strategy is generating a great debate between those who defend the use of this tool to protect the population and those who warn that this is just another form of monitoring and alert to the risks of violating privacy.