Big Brother Watch questions legality of Wembley vaccine passport trial

Big Brother Watch Team / June 11, 2021

Big Brother Watch has urgently questioned the legality of the Government’s vaccine passport trials at Wembley Stadium for the Euro 2020 matches.

In a letter sent today to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the civil liberties group questioned how the stadium might use fans’ vaccination and test data and what the legal basis for the data collection is, citing multiple apparent failures in DCMS’ privacy policy.

The letter sent by Big Brother Watch’s solicitors, AWO, warns that the controversial vaccine passport trial appears to be “occurring unlawfully and in non-compliance with the GDPR”.

Fans at the England v Croatia match on Sunday will be required show proof they have received both Covid vaccinations on the NHS app, which may be “scanned” and “collected” by the stadium according to the privacy policy. Alternatively, fans must evidence a negative result from a Lateral Flow Test, despite the tests being self-administered and the results self-reported. The UK’s multi-billion pound Innova brand tests were slammed today by the US’ leading authority, the FDA, which advised they are “thrown in the bin” due to inaccuracy concerns.

Big Brother Watch has vowed to bring “the greatest possible fight” against the Government’s proposals for COVID-status certification with over 3,000 people supporting the campaign on Crowdfunder.

The campaign group has urged DCMS to respond by Monday afternoon and explain whether and how the trial complies with the UK’s data privacy laws.

Big Brother Watch is poised to bring a legal challenge on privacy and equality grounds, should the Government proceed with COVID-status certification plans.

Director of Big Brother Watch, Silkie Carlo, said:

“Wonderful scenes of fans back in stadiums leave a bad taste in the mouth when the only way they could get in is to hand over sensitive medical data. This is not getting us back to normal, it’s getting us towards a dystopian society. Building a country of checkpoints is not building back better. We have no idea how the stadium might use fans’ vaccine data and are shocked by the slap dash way the Government has gone about such a serious medical privacy issue. Serious legal questions are raised by this trial that require urgent answers. Covid passes are completely incompatible with privacy rights and the sooner these plans are scrapped, the better.”

Cassie Roddy, Solicitor for AWO, said:

“Our client has understandable concerns that the Privacy Notice for the Event Research Programme at the Euro 2020 matches in Wembley Stadium doesn’t provide people with transparent information about how their health data will be processed at these events. Our client is also concerned the Privacy Notice doesn’t appear to set out a valid legal basis for the processing of peoples’ health data. AWO has written on behalf of Big Brother Watch to the Data Protection Officer for DCMS asking for urgent answers to our client’s questions and requesting that the issues are fixed ahead of Sunday’s match.”

 

NOTES

The full letter can be accessed here.

Media enquiries can be directed to info@bigbrotherwatch.org.uk or 07730439257