For a weary public longing to get back to normalcy, vaccine passports represent a tantalizing carrot, being dangled as a mechanism for freedom. By showing proof that you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine, perhaps you can once again board an airplane and travel freely, attend a concert or enjoy a meal in your favorite restaurant, just like you used to.
Except, being required to present your “papers” in order to live your life isn’t actually freedom at all — it’s discrimination, and even a move toward technocratic fascism, one that’s setting the stage for increased surveillance and erosion of your privacy.
Nonetheless, this blatant move toward an ever-increasing surveillance state is being welcomed by many who have been led to believe the passports are necessary to protect public health and safety.
Vaccine Passports Are in Development
It’s likely only a matter of time before you’ll be asked to prove your vaccination status in order to carry on with your daily life. “The government seems to be developing vaccine passports by stealth, making sure the technology is in place for anyone who needs it,” wrote Lara Prendergast, The Spectator‘s assistant editor.1
She’s referring to the U.K. government, which has given sizable grants to a number of private companies developing such technology. This includes more than $86,000 to Logifect, which is slated to launch a vaccine passport app in March 2021, and more than $104,000 to iProov and Mvine, which are developing digital certificates that show vaccination status.
As Prendergast noted, “Your phone would most likely be your vaccination passport. Everyone’s vaccination status is already being logged centrally by the National Immunization Vaccination System using their NHS number. This information could be easily linked with an app.”2
Around the world, vaccine passports are rapidly being rolled out, including in Denmark, which will begin issuing them in February 2021. Sweden, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta have also expressed positivity toward vaccine passports to revive tourism, while in the U.S., plans for vaccine IDs are under evaluation.3 International efforts are also underway.
The app allows users to upload medical data such as a COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination, which then generates a QR code that you will show to authorities as your health passport.4The proposed common framework “for safe border reopening” around the world involves the following:5
- Every nation must publish their health screening criteria for entry into the country using a standard format on a common framework
- Each country must register trusted facilities that conduct COVID-19 lab testing for foreign travel and administer vaccines listed in the CommonPass registry
- Each country will accept health screening status from foreign visitors through apps and services built on the CommonPass framework
- Patient identification is to be collected at the time of sample collection and/or vaccination using an international standard
- The CommonPass framework will be integrated into flight and hotel reservation check-in processes
Eventually, the CommonPass framework will be integrated with already existing personal health apps such as Apple Health and CommonHealth. If you want to travel, your personal health record will be evaluated and compared to a country’s entry requirements, and if you don’t meet them, you’ll be directed to an approved testing and vaccination location.