Digital Receipts for COVID Vaccinations Spark Concerns About ‘Two-Tiered Society’ & ‘Data Grab’

US well being regulators have beforehand accepted two COVID vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, to start out mass inoculations in opposition to the virus. According to estimates, round two million individuals have already acquired the jabs.

Los Angeles County has launched a digital receipt system for these vaccinated in opposition to COVID, however critics are sending considerations a couple of “two-tiered society” the hassle might create by doubtlessly infringing on residents’ private knowledge.

The initiative was launched this week in partnership with tech agency Healthvana, in line with Bloomberg. Those vaccinated in LA would thus capable of obtain confirmations on their telephones which may be then accessed and confirmed via Apple Wallet or its Android various.

The unique goal of the plan was to be sure that those that had acquired the primary anti-COVID shot wouldn’t miss the follow-up jab – one thing that might in any other case ship doses of vaccines to waste. But in line with Healthvana CEO Ramin Bastani, the verification is also used as a sort of digital “passport” used “to prove to airlines, to prove to schools, to prove to whoever needs it” that the particular person in query has an immunity in opposition to coronavirus.

Surveillance & Hierarchy Concerns

However, the Privacy International group has warned about potential risks the so-called “immunity passport” or vaccination certificates might create by undermining human rights via overreaching surveillance.  

“Until everyone has access to an effective vaccine, any system requiring a passport for entry or service will be unfair. The vaccine is a public health exercise, and must not be a new discriminator,” the Privacy International added.

Back in May, the American Civil Liberties Union had already warned that “any immunity passport system endangers privacy rights by creating a new surveillance infrastructure to collect health data”.

The questions over a possible division of society with COVID vaccinations intensified after US entertainer Ticketmaster stated in November that it might enable occasion organisers working via its app to require unfavourable coronavirus check or a proof of vaccination for attendees. The information sparked a backlash again then, prompting the corporate to make clear that “there is absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/testing for future events”. But the gloomy temper has hung within the air.

The journey business has additionally been engaged into related efforts, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) doubling down on efforts to launch the IATA Travel Pass to let passengers present digital verification of assessments or COVID vaccinations they’ve acquired to authorities, in addition to to tell them about measures they’d require to journey.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now authorised Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for emergency use. Trump administration expects that tens of thousands and thousands of Americans would have the ability to obtain the jabs within the coming 12 months – however the effort continues to be restricted solely to these aged 16 or older.


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