The Singapore authorities are launching the national health program Live Healthy SG, under which anyone can get a Fitbit fitness tracker for free. But this is not a benefit at all, but a kind of trick designed to take control of the physical activity of the population. The state needs up-to-date information about how people live and what they do in order to make informed decisions in the field of health protection.
It is also a business project, with details closed to outsiders. Yes, the fitness trackers themselves, the $ 99 Fitbit Inspire HR model, are free, but members agree to subscribe to a premium workout service that costs $ 10 per month for at least one year.
In addition to subscribing to content, Singaporeans will have to consent to the transfer of their personal data from trackers. The Ministry of Health promises to apply this information when developing new social health projects. They promise to make the data processing process as transparent as possible, but program participants cannot influence it in any way. The choice is made only at the beginning - to take part in the program or refuse, the whole project is being implemented on a voluntary basis.
It is believed that hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans will take an interest in the program and use fitness trackers. And at Fitbit itself, they are careful not to notice - maybe even a million people. With a population of 5.6 million, this will be a very substantial sample, a good source of statistical data on the physical activity of the country's population. The program starts in September, and the trackers themselves will start distributing from October.