Singapore began distributing Bluetooth-enabled contact trackers as part of its efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The so-called TraceTogether tokens are an alternative to the government application for tracking contacts on a smartphone.
They are intended for people who do not own or prefer not to use a mobile phone.
The device announcement has been met with privacy concerns in some circles.
The first batch of devices is distributed among vulnerable elderly people who have virtually no family support or have mobility problems.
Tokens have unique QR codes and do not need to be charged, since they have a battery life of up to nine months.
Devices work by exchanging Bluetooth signals with other neighboring tokens or smartphones on which the TraceTogether application is installed.
Users will be alerted by a contact tracking officer if they find that they are near someone infected with a coronavirus.
If it is confirmed that they have signed a contract with Covid-19, the data will be downloaded from the device.
Ministers rejected concerns about the privacy of users, as they argued that they were not intended to indicate human movements.
The Singapore government said that the data collected by the devices will be encrypted and stored in the token for no more than 25 days.
Authorities also said that data cannot be accessed remotely, as tokens do not have access to the Internet or cellular communications.
Another feature highlighted by the government is that tokens do not have a connection to the global positioning system (GPS), therefore they do not collect location data.
The Singapore government said that since TraceTogether’s smartphone app was launched in March, it has been downloaded by about 2.1 million people.
Authorities said they needed to significantly increase their participation in the TraceTogether program as Singapore began to rediscover its economy.
Earlier this month, the Singapore government began to mitigate the so-called lockout measures, including the opening of secondary retail stores and the possibility of re-eating at food and drink outlets.
Tokens were obtained from Singapore-based electronics company PCI.
Earlier this month, it was announced that the company had won a tender of $ 6 million. US (3.5 million pounds sterling; 4.3 million US dollars) for the supply of the first 300,000 devices, the cost of which is 20 singles. Doll. US per token.
On Sunday, authorities reported 213 new infections in Singapore, 11 of which were in a community with a balance in foreign workers’ dormitories. This led to a total of 43,459 cases of Covid-19.