Balancing data privacy and data collection for the common good

This is the sixth of 12 primers on current affairs issues under the news outreach programme by The Straits Times and the Ministry of Education

While mass data collection provides governments with the information they need to improve public services, it has to be balanced against citizens’ concerns about data privacy, says the writer. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of people around the world have learnt in a hurry the benefits of data sharing in the fight against a lethal virus.

For over a year, Singaporeans have done SafeEntry check-ins with QR codes, or used the TraceTogether app and tokens, to log their movements and close contacts so as to provide data for contact tracing.

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