Singapore tabled a bill on Monday in parliament to formalize the use of contact tracing data in criminal investigations for serious offenses, after it was revealed that such information was used for that purpose in a murder case. Singapore city skyline.
The law will specify that public sector agencies can use personal contact tracing data recorded in digital contact tracing systems only for the purpose of contact tracing, except where there is a need for police officers and law enforcement officers to use the data for criminal investigations and proceedings in respect of serious offences, according to the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office in a statement on Monday. Such offenses include murder, terrorism, kidnapping and serious sexual offenses.
Once the pandemic is over, the government will cease the use of systems currently used for contact tracing, the statement said. Public agencies must then stop collecting such data, and delete the collected personal contact tracing data as soon as practicable.
“The government is introducing this Bill under extraordinary circumstances,” according to the statement. “The legislation is intended to remove any doubt about what personal contact tracing data can be used for.”
Any public officer, or contractor engaged by a public sector agency, found guilty of unauthorized use or disclosure of personal contact tracing data can be fined up to S$20,000 ($15,044), or sentenced to jail for up to two years, or both.