MATT O’BRIENAP Technical Writer
Newport, Rhode Island (AP) – Are you ready to hit town before summer ends? In some parts of the United States, you may be required to carry a COVID-19 vaccination card or digital copy to visit restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and outdoor music festivals.
After resisting the concept of sharing vaccine passports in most pandemics, the rapidly increasing number of private venues and some local government officials went public in an attempt to reduce the spread of highly contagious Delta variants of the coronavirus. Demanding proof of immunity in the field. To reassure vigilant customers.
The United States is unlikely to take on a national mission like France, Started requesting it on Monday A person who presents a QR code proving that they have a special virus passport before enjoying a restaurant, coffee shop or traveling across the country.
However, a sufficient number of venues are starting to require digital passports, which is worrying some data protection officers, who fear that this trend could get consumers used to constant tracking.
Who requires a vaccination certificate?
New York City Set the tone Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would soon need a COVID-19 vaccination certificate for anyone who wants to eat inside a restaurant, see a performance or go to the gym.
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but, Increase in the number of private venuesFrom Broadway theaters to music clubs in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, we’ve made our own similar rules for our guests.
“I firmly believe that people have the right to choose whether to get vaccinated,” said Tami Montgomery, owner of Drus Bar in Memphis, Tennessee, along with photo ID on Thursday. Start asking for a paper vaccination card. .. “But it’s my business and I have to make decisions based on what protects my employees, my business and my customers.”
Organizer of the Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago Said on the first day At the end of July, more than 90% of the around 100,000 participants presented proof of vaccination, the rest recently showed a negative COVID-19 test. Hundreds of others were turned away for lack of papers.
In just a handful of states – Texas And Florida The largest – private companies are prohibited from asking for proof of vaccination.
In some places, the venue will only ask you to bring your vaccination card with you. This is the same paper your doctor or the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give you. You can also take a photo of the card at home and show it to your club’s bouncer.
New York City has a streamlined way to view your photos through the NYC COVID Safe app. With this app you can save a picture of your vaccination card and display it in the app if necessary.
Elsewhere, we recommend users register their credentials with a scannable digital passport, such as the New York State Excelsior Pass or a similar system. Adopted in California, Hawaii Louisiana Private companies like Wal-Mart and the airport security app Clear. State-issued digital vaccination trails are verified by state or local immune registries.
Such paths are for convenience and fraud prevention. But the biggest privacy concerns emerged here, said Adam Schwartz, senior employee attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
What’s wrong with the QR code?
Barcodes, called QR codes, were originally developed to track products in the factory. Nowadays it is increasingly used to track people’s devices.
“These systems are a huge step forward in locating people,” said Schwartz. “There’s a scanner on the door, and when people show and pass on scannable tokens, there’s a very real risk of mission creep.”
As long as the venue uses VCI-compliant scanners, don’t worry, said Dr. Brian Anderson, MITER’s chief digital health physician and co-lead of Apple and Microsoft’s vaccination card initiative. And Mayo Clinic among the members. “The app does not store any personal data beyond the time the QR code was scanned,” he said.
Why do you stick with paper?
Proponents of digital passports say it’s handy for restaurants and other places that are already congested as workers don’t have to look in before they roll out everyone’s vaccination card. Lines move faster, and digital scans soothe unwanted people.Paper maps can be damaged or lost. Also very easy Fake paper card Or a photo.
CrowdPass, a QR code generating startup that allows vaccinated individuals to attend the event, will enable approximately 15,000 people to quickly attend the Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival on Rhode Island. It is said that it has become. At the event, attendees had to digitally upload a full vaccination card or recent negative tests.
Duncan Abdelnoor, co-founder and president of the startup, said demand was initially low. “But we took a big leap with the birth of the Delta variant.” Some of his clients are couples planning weddings and others are small event organizers.
This is a crowded marketplace that includes apps created by Clear and Walmart, many of which are currently signed to VCI’s privacy standards and code of conduct.
But for EFF Schwartz, the best advice when you need to see proof of vaccination is to stick to the CDC card or photo question.
According to Schwartz, the vaccination control process should be completed by the time a pandemic occurs. “Some of the companies in this space have a track record in data monetization. I won’t name it, but it will be the last people involved in developing it. Vaccination scanner for proof. “
AP business journalist May Anderson contributed this report from Nashville, Tennessee.
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