Los Angeles is issuing digital iPhone receipts for COVID-19 vaccination, raising concerns that such tools may become “vaccine passports” for events such as air travel and live concerts.
According to Bloomberg News, the plan to be launched this week will enable Los Angeles County to issue digital verification with partners of the technology company Healthvana, which can be placed in Apple Wallet or an Android equivalent.
The initial purpose of the project is to ensure that the first batch of approved Pfizer or Moderna vaccine injections also receive the required booster shots, including through follow-up notifications.
However, Healthvana CEO Ramin Bastani told Bloomberg that digital receipts can also be “used to prove to airlines, to prove to schools, to prove to anyone who needs proof”.
But critics worry that this marks the emergence of a state of vaccine surveillance, which requires a digital “passport” for everything from flying on a plane to watching a movie.
Los Angeles Fire Department captain Elliot Ibanez received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine given by LAFD paramedic Anthony Kong last Monday.Los Angeles County is about to start issuing digital vaccination certificates, which brings hope to the establishment of a new “vaccine passport” system
The program will be launched this week, and the partners of Los Angeles County and the technology company Healthvana will release digital verification, which can be placed in an Apple e-wallet (stock photo)
The increase in vaccine revenue in Los Angeles comes as the county has become the latest epicenter of the US coronavirus pandemic, exceeding 7,000 Covid hospitalized patients for the first time on Monday.
Health officials hope that digital records can help simplify the complex two-step vaccination process and ensure that no dose is wasted for people who fail to get the booster they need.
But privacy organizations have warned that private companies may “rob” medical information about the future impact.
The advocacy organization “Privacy International” said in a statement: “This wonderful moment of hope must never be regarded as another data grab.”
The team added: “The deployment of vaccines, especially any “immunization passports” or certificates related to vaccines, must respect human rights.
The “vaccine pass” system will also raise the following questions: what to do with people who have natural virus antibodies after recovering from infection.
Due to the lack of clinical data for this age group, the vaccine currently being used in the United States is currently not approved for people under the age of 16, which raises questions about how to treat children under the passport system.
Critics worry that this marks the emergence of a dystopian vaccine surveillance state, where a digital “vaccine passport” is needed, and an electronic passport is needed from flying to watching movies.
And because the vaccination progress is much slower than the federal government expected, only two million vaccines have been injected so far, so the passport system has aroused people’s attention to the two-level society, which rejects those who cannot get the vaccine. Outside.
The Australian airline Qantas has announced that it will begin requiring all passengers on its international flights to be vaccinated with the coronavirus.
Companies such as concert venues and live stadiums that are eager to bring back the crowd as soon as possible also suggest that vaccine passports can promote economic development, which is a stopgap measure until the pandemic is completely destroyed.
Last month, Ticketmaster announced that it will introduce an option in its digital ticketing app that will allow event organizers to request proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test.
The company quickly backed down after being strongly opposed, and issued a statement clarifying that: “Ticketmaster has absolutely no requirements for vaccines/tests for future events.”
An ER worker received a coronavirus vaccination in Los Angeles last week.The city is one of the first cities to start issuing digital vaccination certificates
Many companies are developing digital vaccination verification systems, including IBM and Clear, which is a security company that uses biometric technology to confirm the identity of airport personnel.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is promoting a vaccine passport called the IATA Travel Pass, which is still under development.
The system will inform passengers of what tests, vaccines and other measures they need before the flight, and provide airlines or other authorities with digital verification of tests and vaccinations.
Heath Data faces strict federal laws and all companies that purchase vaccine passports have expressed compliance.
The patchwork of different proposals also raises concerns that the vaccine verification system adopted by a state or a country may be compatible with other places.
The Commons project, together with the World Economic Forum and a series of public and private partners, hopes to solve this problem through CommonPass (a trusted, globally interoperable platform).
“You can be tested every time you cross the border. Thomas Crampton, chief marketing and communications officer of The Commons Project, told CNN Business that you will not be vaccinated every time you cross the border.
However, Healthvana CEO Ramin Bastani expressed doubt that any kind of vaccine verification service will be ubiquitous nationwide.
He told Bloomberg that it would not be like a credit card that can be used in the United States. “Sometimes you can pay in cash, sometimes you can use Apple Wallet.”