Forum: Access to digital IC and personal data is too easy

As a surgeon, I hold detailed risk-benefit discussions with my patients before they consent to any treatment.

The potential benefit may differ greatly from one patient to the next, and some patients have declined surgery after concluding that the benefit was not worth the surgical risk.

Making this decision is their absolute right; their body - and what happens to it - is theirs alone.

Similarly, before we give our personal data in response to a company's demands, we each should seriously consider the risks versus the benefits.

In the recent change to the Singpass app interface, a user's digital IC with full name, photo and partial NRIC number is prominently displayed on the home page. The digital IC's barcode is also just one tap away.

All these can be viewed upon opening the Singpass app.

A media release on the Government Technology Agency's website announcing this change to the app's interface said it would "enhance the user experience" and make the digital IC "easy for users to access". This decision was made on behalf of more than 3.2 million Singpass app users.

Some may feel that risking digital identity theft is too high a price to pay for greater convenience - a relatively small benefit that they did not even want (Access public services using Singpass digital IC, Oct 29).

I have always been taught to regard my physical NRIC as personal and its information as private.

I therefore have cause to be concerned that my personal details have now been made so easily available.

Can I request that my personal data be left out of my Singpass app's home page? If not, can all such personal data, even my name and photo, be protected by a password?

Tan Yia Swam (Dr)

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