September 29, 2020

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We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Government Technology Agency Awards Tender for Further Batches of TraceTogether Tokens

The Government Technology Agency has awarded the tender to design and manufacture further batches of the TraceTogether Tokens to two bidders – a consortium comprising Siix Singapore Pte Ltd and iWOW Pte Ltd; and PCI Private Limited.

Design and Production of TraceTogether Token

Drawing from the experience gained in producing the initial batch, GovTech will work with both tenderers to review their designs to further reduce cost, while ensuring effectiveness of the Token for contact tracing. Each Token is expected to cost about $10. GovTech will manage and pace the production of further batches based on demand.

Token introduced to enhance TraceTogether Programme

 

The TraceTogether Token will ensure better coverage for everyone in Singapore for effective contact tracing. The token will function in the same way the TraceTogether app does and uses Bluetooth signals to record other nearby TraceTogether devices.

TraceTogether Token has no GPS. This means the device does not capture geolocation data and captures only proximity data. This means a person cannot be tracked and nobody would know where a person has been.

The device has no Internet or cellular connectivity. This means the data cannot be pulled from the device unless the user physically hands in the device to MOH contact tracers, if they are confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.

If the user becomes a patient, it is critical that close contacts are identified as soon as possible. This is when MOH will ask the user to hand over his device for the data to be extracted, for contact tracing. If users are not identified to the COVID positive, the encrypted proximity data will reside in the device for 25 days and then be deleted on a rolling basis.

Without using digital contact tools, contact tracing is slow, taxing and not very reliable since as human memory is not always accurate and cannot remember everyone and every place they have encountered in a two week period. Rapid contact tracing will help reduce these risks.

The Singapore Government has introduced a range digital tools and solutions including TraceTogether and SafeEntry to supplement contact tracing efforts by the Ministry of Health during the pandemic.

 

How the Token Works

Mr Chan Cheow Hoe, the Government Chief Digital Technology Officer and GovTech deputy chief executive, explained that the Trace Together Token is designed to do only one thing: capture proximity data based on Bluetooth signals.

Every five minutes, it scans to detect other TraceTogether users on the Token or the app. The more ‘hits’ between two TraceTogether users, the more likely the two users are in close proximity for an extended period of time. Proximity can be estimated by the strength of the Bluetooth signal.

The closer users are to one another, the stronger the signal is and vice versa. According to Mr Chan, the Token’s battery allows it to continuously scan for between six to nine months, with no charging required.

Data Used For TraceTogether Token

There are only four types of data contained in the token: the Bluetooth signal, the user’s randomised ID, the randomised ID of any other user in proximity and a timestamp of the encounter.

The IDs do not refer to a NRIC number, but randomised and anonymised IDs linked to a personal identifier like a mobile number. No data is extracted unless a user has tested positive for COVID-19. “From there, the MOH has a special software key that can unlock the device and reveal the data for use in contact tracing,