On Tuesday, Singapore passed the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Amendment) Bill, under a Certificate of Urgency. This allows the government to introduce new legislations they deem to be urgent. This bill was passed as a result of public discontent after it was revealed that the police were able to access the country’s Trace Together contact tracing app for their criminal investigations. This contradicted the government’s previous statements, that the information on the app would only be used if an individual tested positive for COVID-19.
The public outcry motivated the government to announce plans for a new bill, which would limit the police force’s access to data on the application. This means that police only have access to seven categories of “serious offences”, in which the contact tracing data can be used for criminal investigations. These cases involve crimes related to terrorism, use or possession of dangerous weapons, kidnapping, and serious sexual offences.