Early mover: TraceTogether is accessed via a smartphone app or a small wearable device, and is used by nearly 80% of Singapore’s 5.7 million residents. It was the first of the major Bluetooth contact tracing apps unveiled in the spring of 2020, and its data is more centralized than the Apple-Google system used in many other places around the world. Singapore ruled out using the Apple-Google system itself because officials there said they wanted more detailed infection information). Participation in contact tracing was once voluntary, but the government rolled that back late last year and there are now mandatory check-ins at most places where people work, shop, and gather.
The country’s approach to the pandemic has been forceful in many ways, not just when it comes to contact tracing technology. For example, people caught without a mask in public face large fines.