Biden administration is working with private tech companies to develop a COVID-19 vaccine passport system for Americans to prove they’ve been vaccinated
Welcome to the new normal. You may be required to provide proof of vaccination before you can apply for a job or conduct any commercial or leisure activities. The Biden administration is set to launch a COVID19 passport that Americans must have to engage in commerce and would track Americans that took the vaccine, according to news first reported by the Washington Post.
According to the Post, The Biden administration is working with private tech companies to develop a standard way of handling credentials — often referred to as “vaccine passports” — that would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as businesses try to reopen. Below is how the Post describes the ongoing effort:
“Proof of vaccination “may be a critical driver for restoring baseline population health and promoting safe return to social, commercial, and leisure activities,” according to the March 2 slides prepared by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and obtained by The Post”
The United States is the latest in series of nations working on imposing mandatory vaccine passports. As we reported back in January, the Scandinavian country of Denmark announced that it is developing a digital “vaccine passport” for people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, a move that may enable them to travel to countries where such documentation is required during the pandemic
The Washington Post, citing five officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, reported the effort “has been driven largely by arms of the Department of Health and Human Services, including an office devoted to health information technology.” White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients has led the White House’s role in coordinating the project, an official told the Post.
The introduction of COVID certification raises a lot of privacy concerns. Back in June 2020, we told you about how tech startups are racing to develop unethical ‘immunity passports’ for COVID-19. At the time, experts warned of privacy issues and a high risk of discrimination. The warning did little to stop a host of countries from developing to track citizens who have recovered from the deadly virus to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Per Washington Post, Zients said earlier this month, “Our role is to help ensure that any solutions in this area should be simple, free, open-source, accessible to people both digitally and on paper, and designed from the start to protect people’s privacy.”