Coronoavirus Contact Tracing Smartphone App

Singapore developed a contact-tracing smartphone app called TraceTogther. It allow Singapore to quickly track people who have been exposed to confirmed coronavirus cases.

The app can identify people who have been within 2 meters of coronavirus patients for at least 30 minutes, using wireless Bluetooth technology.

The app was developed by the Singapore Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).

How do I use the app?

Enter your mobile number (Step 1)
Enable push notifications (Step 2)
Keep Bluetooth turned on (Step 3)
Leave TraceTogether running! (Step 4)

Should I turn off the app?

Keep the app running with full permissions
When DORSCON levels return to Green, the app will stop running, and you will receive an update on how you can delete your data
What about my privacy?

The app does not track your location or contacts
Data is stored in your phone for only 21 days and will not be accessed unless you are identified as a close contact

Measures are in place to protect your mobile number. Your number is paired with a a random ID, and it is this ID that is exchanged between phones, not your actual number

The app is up and running on my phone. What next?

Make sure to leave it running. If you’re worried about battery life, fret not, the battery consumption is only marginally higher

If you are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case through the app, MOH will contact you directly. Similarly, if MOH needs to conduct contact tracing with you, they will seek your permission to access the data on your app

Share it with your friends and family! The app works when there are other users around who have it installed too, so the more people have it, the more comprehensive the info can be.

SOURCES – Singapore Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Written by Brian Wang,

12 thoughts on “Coronoavirus Contact Tracing Smartphone App”

  1. This should the norm everywhere while this pandemic continues. Deleted when it’s over. Just common sense. Hung up on privacy? You have an inflated opinion of your own importance.

  2. The chinese, via the all encompassing mega-app WeChat, now have a green/yellow/red flag system with QRcode scanning contact/location tracking that is working reasonably well now, though unbelievably invasive. The pervasiveness and linked capabilities of WeChat prior to COVID-19 really made rolling out this kind of feature set much easier. The interesting thing is now with some backend integration with the Sesame social credit system, anybody repeatedly running around with red flag status will take a serious ding to their social credit rating. Even trying to get around with a yellow flag may be disadvantageous for social credit. Naturally, it would be real easy for the chinese government to mark undesirables as red flagged, which then enlists the general building/facility/gate private guards and general citizens as whole as unwitting accomplices to isolate and identify people, as a supplement to police forces. With extensive tracking now being direct piped to government as opposed to a modicum of intermediaries, there is boatloads of metadata tracking available to make social network graph linkages with physical locations to detect people trying to fake their location or contacts.

    Apparently the russian government is going to be rolling out a required app, and naturally that is invasive as hell according to the teardown of a beta version of the android app. Worse still, all the tracking data is being sent unecrypted to russian government servers instead of Yandex…

  3. Just say NO.

    No way I’m going to install an app on my phone that seeks to trace all people I may, or may not know, may or may not have had contact with, may or may not accurately GPS track the pocket-brick.  Nah… I’ll leave the thing at home. On the bed-stand. Where it belongs.  I do NOT need to talk to ANYONE on the phone whilst driving.  

    This is also the reason why I bought an aluminum shell for the thing, when traveling. Cuts off its ability (read that right: your phone provider, and any of DOZENS of fûqueing companies secretly tapping the data stream) to track where it has been. The downside … I don’t get phone calls while it is in the shell. The upside, obvious.

    Since I have really awesome data hacker friends who noodle around with iPhone and Android ‘deep-internal-workings’ code, I’ve had them check that the aluminum-shell clad phone is in fact not tracking GPS and WIFI and BLOOTOOTH pinioning. It is not. This is good. 

    I repeat myself: question to the core of your feelings about ‘freedom’ and ‘right to privacy’ and ‘government intrusion’ into whether you really want such an app on your phone. It seems to me to be a VERY short distance from ‘victim’ to ‘victimizer’ to ‘guilty without charges’. Think about it, goats. Think seriously.

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  4. I cannot understand why everyone is talking about a 1 to 2 % mortality rate. Global data is really very poor but of the confirmed cases and where there is an outcome, the mortality rate is much higher

    Source of figures Total confirmed cases     936,204
    With outcome Death      47,249
    Recovered    194,578
    Total with outcome     241,827
    % of deaths with outcome    19.54
    With no outcome
    Active cases    694,337
    Serious critical      35,612
    Total no outcome     729,949

    Sadly even in these figures the site has errors but not enough to negate the fact that the % of death is about 19% of the recorded cases with an outcome.

    There are stats from some towns where deaths are about 5 to 6 times the normal rate but deaths attributed to Covid-19 negligible

    In essence, we still do not know enough

  5. that’s because it’s specific to Singapore. The BlueTrace app/backend system is allegedly going to be open sourced for other countries to use (as announced last week), but no source code releases so far…

  6. There are probably companies/governments already doing this with out our knowledge. I talking about the tracking.

  7. this is the exact idea I was thinking about a couple of months ago. (seems like several lifetimes at this point.) I even went as far as to suggest it to the CDC and the Melinda and Bill Gates foundation. I’m no mobile developer, but It seemed – hell still seems – like a pretty modest development effort to me.

    Just think where we would be right now if contact tracing was automated at the very beginning of this epidemic, and we had enforced installing this on the phones of everyone who had traveled from china in the last 3 months. I sincerely doubt that we would be needing to shutdown our entire economy at this point.

  8. You watch too much TV. This not an episode of a detective show or House where we have all the answers after the commercial break. So, be disgusted AFTER you get educated on what’s really happening behind the scenes. As for, “taking it head on”. WTF does that mean? To me, it means get everyone infected and get immunity out there. In the old days, mamma threw everyone in bed with whoever got chicken pox first so she could get it all over with in one go. That’s head on.

  9. That’s what I want to see. Solutions.

    It disgusts me that we’re hiding from this virus and not facing it head on. Bring on the cures. Bring on the universal flu vaccines, bring on the nanotech.

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