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Singapore-Apple app spotlights Asia's health-privacy tightrope

As governments and Big Tech look beyond COVID, some fear 'mission creep'

Apple's new store in Singapore: Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat says the company's partnership with the city-state "will enable Singaporeans to lead healthier lives."   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The coronavirus pandemic has brought countries and technology giants together to protect populations from the deadly virus. Now Apple and Singapore are showing how this nexus of government and Big Tech could expand in the post-pandemic world -- promoting health and convenience but also fueling debate over privacy.

Come late October, Apple Watch wearers in Singapore will be eligible for up to 380 Singapore dollars ($270) in rewards over two years for pursuing a healthy lifestyle. The program centers on an app called LumiHealth, created through a partnership between Apple and the government. Users will be encouraged to complete fitness challenges by, say, walking, jogging, swimming or attending yoga class.

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