In yet another episode proving that the Singapore government is incapable of safeguarding digital data, the Ministry of Health wrongly sent a SMS to 357 individuals telling them they tested positive for the coronavirus.
The health ministry said it is a glitch:
“On May 16 at about 7pm, 357 patients who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 received an erroneous SMS message informing them that they had tested positive for COVID-19, although they had already been informed earlier. The Ministry of Health has taken immediate steps to rectify the situation once the error had been detected. A follow-up message was sent to all affected individuals by 10pm to clarify that the earlier SMS message had been sent in error, and to apologise for any inconvenience and anxiety caused.”
In recent years, there have been numerous high profile data breaches in the government servers.
These hacking incidents worry the Singapore population over the use of the contact tracing app, TraceTogether. To date, less than 20% of the population has downloaded the app. The actual usage appears to be less than 5%. This is way below the 75% usage target for contact tracing to be effective.