Even though it might seem like a lifetime since you rummaged through your bag to try and find your TraceTogether token, it doesn’t mean that you should completely forget about them now.
And you definitely shouldn’t just dump them into your trash can.
With the COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed since 26 April, most places do not require individuals to carry out SafeEntry check-ins as of now.
However, members of the public are still encouraged to not throw away their TraceTogether tokens. For businesses, lawyers have urged them to not throw away the SafeEntry Gateway boxes used to facilitate the checking-in of patrons.
Why You Shouldn’t Throw Away Your TraceTogether Token
According to the Government Technology Agency, the tokens and boxes should still be kept by individuals and businesses respectively, since they may still be used for contact tracing and vaccination-related checking purposes if a new COVID-19 variant affects the country.
Lawyers have also weighed in on this issue.
According to Desmond Chew, a partner at law firm Dentons Rodyk’s intellectual property and technology practice group, throwing away the Tracetogether tokens or boxes may result in us breaking certain laws.
For instance, the Penal Code covers offences where the public intentionally causes “wrongful loss” to the Government.
Since the TraceTogether tokens and boxes were given to most people and businesses for free by the authorities, throwing them away might result in a breach of the Penal Code.
Those who are convicted of causing “wrongful loss” to the Government may face up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine or both.
Penalty Might Still Exist Even if You Threw it Away By Accident
Yup, even if you tell the police officer arresting you that you didn’t mean to throw your Tracetogether token away, you might not be spared either.
Accidentally throwing Tracetogether tokens or boxes away may result in flouting of the Vandalism Act, which conerns damaging or destroying properties.
If found guilty, individuals may be fined up to $2,000 or be jailed for up to three years.
Chew also mentioned that such punishments might also be in place for tokens or boxes that have been tampered with.
Apart from that, another relevant act is the Computer Misuse Act, and individuals may be found guilty of modifying computer material in an unauthorised manner under this act.
Those found guilty of doing so may be issued a maximum fine of $10,000, up to three years’ imprisonment, or both.
The punishments are worse if illegal modification results in damage to the items.
For that, indviduals may receive up to a $50,000 fine, up to seven years’ imprisonment or both.
As for individuals who have misplaced their tokens, they will need to replace them. There is no charge for those who replace their token the first time, but $9 will be charged for every replacement after that.
Members of the public who want to replace their tokens can visit the TraceTogether vending machines or selected community centres to do so.
However, if individuals or businesses lie about throwing or recycling the tokens or boxes by saying that they lost them, they might instead be charged with giving false information to a public servant.
Indiivuals may face a jail term of up to six months, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. As for businesses, they may be fined up to $10,000.
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