As Singapore continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic amid opinions from experts that “Singapore is one of the greatest failures in the world now,” the government has announced the imminent arrival of a “TraceTogether” wearable device.
While the government has yet to confirm whether or not the carrying of such a device would be made compulsory, there is speculation that it might well be.
After all, Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Vivian Balakrishnan has indicated that the TraceTogether app “has not been made compulsory” in large part because the “app does not appear to work as well on iOS or Apple devices“.
This means that if a wearable device (which would circumvent the technical problems with certain devices) is “issued to everyone in Singapore to help curb the spread of Covid-19“, it is highly likely that the carrying of such device will be made mandatory.
It is important to note that all migrant workers staying in dormitories will have to download and activate the national contact tracing app TraceTogether by Friday (19 June). It follows as a natural next step, that the rest of us will soon have to carry some sort of tracing device too.
According to a You Gov survey, 57% of those polled are willing while 43% polled are unwilling to wear/ carry a tracking token.
While it would appear that a majority of Singaporeans are willing to carry such a device, it is not an overwhelming majority. The way the figures have been broken down into the “willing” and “unwilling” camps is also somewhat misleading.
For example, among those who have been grouped as “willing”, only one in five (18%) are very willing. Two out of five (39%) are somewhat willing while roughly a quarter (26%) are somewhat unwilling.
How in the world does “somewhat unwilling” fall into the “willing category”? Surely “somewhat unwilling” should fall into the camp of “unwilling”?
Putting the “somewhat unwilling” camp into the the group that is “willing” is completely illogical. It also appears disingenuous – as if the data is being presented in a way to make it seem like more people are willing than not”
It is also important that the majority of people polled, i.e. the 39% are “somewhat willing” – in other words, they don’t mind. This is not the same as saying that they are “willing” – they just basically don’t really care. i.e., if it is made compulsory, they will carry it but it it is not mandatory, they probably would not.
That leaves us with 2 sets of people who are clear about what they want. The “very willing” at 18 % and the “very unwilling” at 17%
That’s pretty much half half. Will it be fair to force the device onto everyone when it seems like only half are very willing to carry it?