Vaccine passports are becoming a more likely aspect of our future post-Covid. However, what exactly is a vaccine passport, and what are the implications behind giving sensitive medical records to authorities? A vaccine passport is a tech system that proves the user’s recent vaccination or their recent negative test.
While a centralised system may be the easiest way to build such an app, this would pose serious privacy issues. A centralised database is all kept in the one place, making the data more vulnerable. MVine and iProov, two British firms, are instead considering using biometric identifiers which would prevent non-consensual viewing of personal medical records. However, our head Silkie Carlo, critcises this method, citing the authoritarian implications behind vaccine passports.
“Vaccine passports would create the backbone of an oppressive digital ID system and could easily lead to a health apartheid that’s incompatible with a free and democratic country,” says Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch. “Digital IDs would lead to sensitive records spanning medical, work, travel, and biometric data about each and every one of us being held at the fingertips of authorities and state bureaucrats.
“This dangerous plan would normalise identity checks, increase state control over law-abiding citizens and create a honeypot for cybercriminals.”