Mandatory use of single tracking app

Sin Chew Daily

Among the new normal practices arising from the coronavirus pandemic is the mandatory temperature-taking and input of personal details when visiting an eatery, shop, government office or other public venues.

For the convenience of the public, the government has made the best of technology by introducing the MySejahtera mobile application which members of the public can use to scan the QR code displayed at the door of a business.

Other than MySejahtera, state governments have also introduced their own tracking services such as SeLangkah in Selangor, Qmunity in Sarawak and PGCare in Penang.

However, with so many different apps available in the market, people will invariably feel confused. As if that is not enough, some business operators as well as customers have not cooperated with the government by using the services.

The federal government announced recently that all business premises in the country must use MySejahtera for the registration of visitors for tracking purposes even though they are allowed to use other tracking apps concurrently. The announcement has received largely positive feedback from the public.

Penang state government subsequently announced that it had decided to terminate the use of PGCare and urged the federal government to give PGCare users and business owners some time to switch to MySejahtera.

Majority of business owners have been supportive of the government's decision to enforce the use of MySejahtera, as this will prevent uncooperative customers from scribbling false information on the log books. These people do not care about their own safety as well as that of other people. They have not only given business owners additional problems but have also caused a spike in new COVID-19 cases.

The Sivagangga cluster in Kedah could be attributed to the failure of the restaurant run by the index case to use the MySejahtera app besides not taking the temperatures of his patrons or recording their particulars. This has caused the state and district health departments to face several challenges when attempting to track down close contacts of the index case.

If we do not take this matter seriously, the next infection cluster will very likely emerge out of our apathetic attitude.

There are a thousand and one reasons members of the public have refused to put down their real names and contact numbers on the log books provided by the business owners. Some do it out of privacy concern as they do not wish to expose their particulars to strangers, be it on the log books or tracking apps, while others find it a troublesome chore.

In view of the pandemic and the fact that the virus has never left us actually, it is essential for Malaysians to cooperate with the authorities and comply with all the SOPs as part of the new normal.

Indeed, MySejahtera can make up for the deficiencies of hand-written contact details where data security and privacy are concerned, because the users' particulars will not be made accessible to unauthorized persons so that they can rest assured their particulars will not be unduly exposed to irresponsible individuals for unwarranted use.

People living in rural areas may have to continue with manual input of personal particulars due to network problem and the fact some of the residents do not own smartphones.

To be honest, we should not be overly worried about data security and privacy. In its stead, we should be more concerned about our own safety and health.

As a matter of fact, there is still ample room for MySejahtera to improve, such as enhanced data encryption to ensure that the users' particulars are accurate and no one will register with a fake identity.

Once this is done, members of the public will no longer need to worry about the issues of privacy and data breach.

Before the government makes it mandatory for the public to use MySejahtera, it must first upgrade the app's technology and safety aspects so as to boost public confidence in its reliability.

The more user-friendly and convenient the app is, the more business owners are willing to adopt it as it will help them save on manpower and other resources for they will only need to focus on their business and leave the rest to the government and technology!



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