Vulnerable seniors to receive first batch of physical TraceTogether tokens

From June 28, the first batch of TraceTogether Tokens will be distributed to the most vulnerable seniors who are currently not digitally connected and at higher risk from COVID-19.

The physical TraceTogether tokens will help extend the protection provided by digital contact tracing tools to as many people in Singapore as possible, Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) said in a press statement. 

This would include those who may not own or prefer not to use a mobile phone. 

Photo courtesy: SNDGO
Photo courtesy: SNDGO

Each TraceTogether Token will have a unique QR code and is personalised for the recipient’s individual use only. The device works by exchanging Bluetooth signals with other TraceTogether Tokens, or mobile phones running the TraceTogether app nearby.

The data of close contacts will be encrypted and kept only in the token for no more than 25 days.

The user will be alerted by an authorised officer from the Ministry of Health (MOH) contact tracing team if he was detected to be a close contact of a person who was infected with COVID-19. This will enable appropriate precautions to be taken to keep the user and their loved ones safe.

Photo courtesy: SNDGO
Photo courtesy: SNDGO

The TraceTogether token has an estimated battery life of six to nine months and does not require any charging. 

SNDGO added that the token has no GPS, and therefore does not capture geolocation data. "It captures only proximity data of other Tokens or TraceTogether apps via Bluetooth technology. The Token and the TraceTogether app are designed to interoperate with each other."

Moreover, the device has no Internet or cellular connectivity, so the encrypted data cannot be remotely extracted from the device either. The user is contacted for the data download only if he is confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.