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Singapore rolls out contact-tracing device for people without smartphones

June 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Singapore is distributing a digital contact-tracing device to people who don't use smartphones, as part of the city-state's efforts to contain coronavirus.

(CNN)Singapore is distributing a digital contact-tracing device to people who don't use smartphones, as part of the city-state's efforts to contain coronavirus.

The TraceTogether Tokens are aimed at vulnerable seniors who aren't digitally connected but are at higher risk from coronavirus, according to a statement from the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO).

Distribution started on Sunday and the tokens aim to protect people without smartphones in the same way as the existing TraceTogether app, which uses Bluetooth to alert users if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The tokens send Bluetooth signals to other tokens, or smartphones with the app, and each one uses a personalized QR code.

Coronavirus tracking has sparked concerns about privacy around the world, but the SNDGO says any data recorded will be encrypted and stored for only 25 days.

This means encrypted data cannot be taken from the token remotely, and the data will only be downloaded if the individual tests positive for coronavirus, according to the statement.

The app asks for some personal information, like a mobile phone number, and data is shared with health authorities after a positive coronavirus diagnosis.

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