Some People Have Allegedly Started to Hack & Modify the TraceTogether Tokens

The compact-sized TraceTogether token is going to be our sticky boyfriend / girlfriend soon.

Image: Smart Nation and Digital Government Office

Unlike your sticky boyfriend / girlfriend which you can avoid by not answering his/her calls, the TraceTogether token or app needs to be with you at all times. For without it, one is not able to enter places like cinemas or office buildings in time to come.

But for those who have collected the tokens, some have allegedly made modifications to it in order to avoid participating in the programme, much like how boyfriends have gaslit-

Users Allegedly Modifying TraceTogether Tokens

Some users have taken to discussion forums such as HardwareZone to talk about this essential item, and they’re not talking about the designs.

In particular, sharing ideas on ways to modify the token.

Some discussions involved replacing the QR code on the token with another, in order to avoid being tracked by the device.

Others include attaching a small battery to the token’s LED light, so that it lights up without powering up the chip itself.

Some netizens express their concerns on modifying the app, as users might face penalties.

But if you’re somehow thinking of doing that, you might need to scan yourself into prison.

According to a spokesman from the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), any deliberate or mischievous act to tamper with the token is a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act.

Under the Computer Misuse Act, unauthorised access to computer material carries a jail term of up to two years, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Seriously, if you die-die want to modify this, just do this lah:

How Does TraceTogether Work

TraceTogether is used to record close contact data required for contact tracing purpose. The data is required by the authorities should one contract Covid-19 to contact those affected.

If you just want to know how it works, watch this video to the end (and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more informative videos!):

From December onwards, it will be compulsory for TraceTogether to be used in order to enter public premises. The app or token will replace the existing SafeEntry.

So why are some worried about using TraceTogether?

They are concerned about two aspects: Location tracking and surveillance.

Something akin to how your sticky boyfriend/ girlfriend will always want to know where you are.

The TraceTogether token exchanges short-distance Bluetooth signals with nearby tokens or handsets that have the TraceTogether app. This interaction is then logged into the devices.

All logs are encrypted, and logs which are more than 25 days will be removed.

Should one be infected with Covid-19, the token will need to be given to the authorities for them to retrieve the data required for contact tracing.

To allay the fears of the general public about these concerns, GovTech invited four experts and open-source advocates for a “tear-down” session back in July.

The invited guests took apart the TraceTogether token to study its internal workings. You can watch the video here:

Some of the deductions gathered during the session include: The token can only manage Bluetooth activity, and that it is unable to deduct orientation and do recording, among others.

Where to Collect TraceTogether Tokens

There are currently 38 designated Community Centres (CC) to collect the token. By end November, the token can be collected at all 108 CCs.

As of today, 27 October, the general public can only collect the tokens at their respective constituency’s CCs.

To find out which CC near you is available for the token collection, visit: