Big Tech Developing COVID-19 Passport
A coalition made up of Big Tech companies and health organizations is coming with a digital COVID-19 passport. This would allow governments and businesses to check if a person has received the vaccine for the coronavirus or not. This unprecedented move could pave the way for other digital tools to track and control the behavior of citizens.
Members of the coalition reportedly include tech giants like Oracle and Microsoft teaming up with the Mayo Clinic. The coalition calls itself the Vaccination Credential Initiative. They are reportedly developing the tracking technology in case the government mandates that citizens provide proof that they have received the vaccine before they can avail of the basic services provided by the government and those of businesses.
They hope that the technology they are developing will allow people to “demonstrate their health status to safely return to travel, work, school and life while protecting their data privacy.”
The coalition is building upon the work of the Commons Project’s international digital document that is used for verifying a person has tested negative for COVID-19. The Commons Project was created in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation. It is being used by airlines to check on the passengers. The project is also reportedly working with several governments that would require travelers to show proof of vaccination before they travel or enter a country.
The chief executive of Commons Project Paul Meyer said that “The goal of the Vaccination Credential Initiative is to empower individuals with digital access to their vaccination records so they can use tools like CommonPass to safely return to travel, work, school, and life, while protecting their data privacy.”
The executive vice president of Oracle’s Global Business Units, Mike Sicilia, commented that the digital passport that they building “needs to be as easy as online banking. We are committed to working collectively with the technology and medical communities, as well as global governments, to ensure people will have secure access to this information where and when they need it.”