Photo from QTrack

Whether you are in the fourth toilet cubicle of a 72-storey building or sitting in the last row fifth seat of a 200-person movie theatre, the Singapore government knows exactly where you are. Known as Real-Time Location Service (RTLS), the public wireless network routers and even the 4.5G network can reveal your precise location and record movements with timestamps.

Photo from WIX

Disabling your GPS location or using a non-GPS enabled phone is useless, you will need to completely remove the battery of your phone – which is no longer possible as phone makers today now embed batteries in every phone and the 2G network has been completely phased out in Singapore.

With advancement in privacy-enroaching technologies, everyone with a phone is literally ankle-tagged by the government. This technology is considered state secret from the public, and could not be presented as court evidence. As such the government installed more CCTV street cameras as video evidence for prosecution.

Then there are the invasive features packaged in the everyday programs like Facebook and Google. The locations you have been to, every google search or Facebook search you made, every Youtube video you watched, every States Times Review post you clicked is recorded, and turned on by default. Have a look in Google location settings here, or check your Facebook history here, and see how much information does the Singapore government have on you.

On the first six months of 2017, the Singapore government requested access to 263 Facebook accounts and Facebook complied 59% of the requests. The head of public policy at Facebook, Alvin Tan, was openly identified by state media Straits Times as a PAP candidate for the coming election in 2020. Google in recent years has also been more pliant with the Singapore government to remove content.

Screenshot from Google report

Due to the Singapore dictatorship being spooked by news of similar dictatorship governments like Malaysia losing power, the government invested hundreds of millions in surveillance technologies to monitor it’s own people. Starting 2019, 100,000 CCTV cameras would be mounted on street lamp posts to monitor everyone’s movement in public. Temasek Holdings’ Ho Ching, together with Alibaba Group, poured US$600 million into a China facial recognition company earlier this year to enhance surveillance capabilities.