The Federal Government has been working with private businesses to develop a vaccine passport. This “passport” will probably be an app available on smartphones that will need to be scanned in order to prove that someone has the virus vaccine. Proponents of the vaccine passport say that this will allow businesses and schools to open up to 100% capacity. Opponents say this is a pure violation of privacy and it will force people to get the vaccine who do not want it.
The idea behind the vaccine passport seems innocent enough. Businesses have been grappling with opening to up 100% capacity due to the virus. Restaurants, schools, sports arenas… basically any indoor place that may place people in close proximity to one another have been hit extremely hard by closures and capacity limits. So if everyone can prove that they have the vaccine before they enter a place by the simple scan of a smartphone app, these businesses could open back up and relieve stress off of American citizen’s backs. Kids could resume school and business could return back to normal.
The problem here is that not everyone wants to get the vaccine. There are legitimate concerns of the efficacy of it and of potential side-effects that could be worse than the virus itself. There is a legacy of failed vaccines and medications in this country, many of which happened in very recent history — as in, within the past 10 to 20 years. If the virus vaccine is allowed to proliferate society, it could apply to essential things like riding an airplane, a cab/Uber, bus, hotels, grocery stores, and more. Normal, everyday society would have a virtual gate around it only accessible by a smartphone app.
The privacy concerns are obvious here as well. If a person’s medical status can be viewed by any gatekeeper of a business via smartphone app, how is that not a violation of HIPPA? If the data is in any way stored or shared, then that is a clear concern as well. Even if the specific vaccine someone has is not stored in a database, it doesn’t matter because advanced advertising algorithms will know that a person has the vaccine anyway.
Here’s a scenario. A rock concert happens in an area where it is well known that a vaccine passport will be required. Everyone who is geolocated at the concert, or who buys tickets online, or who posts on social media about being at the concert will now be identified as having had the vaccine. Because how could a person be at this place without the vaccine if a vaccine passport is required? This is an obvious problem that should not be overlooked. Big Tech would have a field day with this.
The vaccine passport has not yet been implemented in the United States as of the publishing of this article. But rollout of a version of the vaccine passport is already underway in parts of Europe. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have already slammed the idea of a vaccine passport. DeSantis says Florida will not require or implement the passport to do daily activities. Other states may very well take DeSantis’s lead, while others may not. Only time will tell.
White House Working with Corporations to Develop ‘Vaccine Passport’
Vaccine passports: Will I have to get one?
Migrant children in San Diego get in-person classes while US school kids stuck at home | Daily Mail Online
San Diego Teachers & Migrants: Educators Will Provide In-Person Instruction to Immigrant Children before Public School Students | National Review
Denmark launching a ‘coronavirus passport’ to prove vaccination | TheHill
DeSantis vows to take executive action against ‘vaccine passports’ | TheHill