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Viable Plan or Security Theatre? Europe Embraces Digital Health Pass

By Reuters

April 29, 2021

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As tourism-dependent European countries push for "digital green passes" to enable individuals to travel if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or received a negative test result, the EU Commission is expected to award a contract for a central system to verify the digital passes using QR codes.

The gateway, which will allow apps to be read across EU nations, is slated for testing in May and will be launched in June.

This timeline is ambitious, given the lack of consensus on whether antibody tests are sufficient proof of immunity among Covid-19 survivors, and concerns about the ability to adapt the scheme for overseas visitors and the security of personal information.

University College London's Michael Veale said the data included in digital certificates easily could be forged.

Further, he said it could be impossible in practice to train and equip staff across Europe to verify the digital certificates.

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