Health Passports: Another Form of Digital Health Care

Health Passports: Another Form of Digital Health Care

The Robot Will See You Now

'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.10

She’s referring to the U.K. government, which has given sizable grants to a number of private companies developing such technology, however vaccine passports are also being implemented around the world. Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta are among the countries that have expressed positivity toward vaccine passports to revive tourism, while in the U.S., plans for vaccine IDs are under evaluation.11

The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum created the Common Trust Network, which developed the CommonPass app that’s intended to act as a health passport in the near future.

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.12 The proposed common framework “for safe border reopening” around the world involves the following:13

  1. Every nation must publish their health screening criteria for entry into the country using a standard format on a common framework 
  2. Each country must register trusted facilities that conduct COVID-19 lab testing for foreign travel and administer vaccines listed in the CommonPass registry 
  3. Each country will accept health screening status from foreign visitors through apps and services built on the CommonPass framework 
  4. Patient identification is to be collected at the time of sample collection and/or vaccination using an international standard 
  5. 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.'

Significant Human Rights Concerns

Already, this is creating two “classes” of people — those who have the CommonPass and those who don’t. This is just one of the significant human rights and civil liberty concerns being created by the implementation of digital health passports.

As noted by Rosalind Comyn, policy and campaigns manager at the National Council for Civil Liberties in the U.K., “In essence, what vaccine passports are trying to do is create a system whereby some people can access freedoms, services or other kind of spaces and places and other people are excluded from them.”

Big Tech Striving To Be a Digital Health Power Player

It’s a concerning trend, considering the “frightening”18 amount of data Google and other technology companies collect. WebMD dominates health searches done through Google and shares user information with Google’s advertising arm and other third-party firms — a practice that is illegal in Europe.

Google, Amazon and Microsoft collect data entered into health and diagnostic sites, which is then shared with hundreds of third parties — and this data is not anonymized, meaning it’s tied to specifically to you, without your knowledge or consent.

Protecting Your Privacy From Technology

The creation of a decentralized web is part of the answer to protecting your freedom but you can also consider safeguarding your own online privacy if you haven’t done so already.

To encrypt your text messages and keep them from becoming data mining fodder, download the Signal or Telegram app and/or use a virtual private network (VPN) on your desktop, laptop and mobile devices



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