coronavirus in connecticut

Q&A: What To Think About Before Using an App to Show Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination

NBC Universal, Inc.

Whether or not to require vaccines is a question that's been highly debated in recent weeks. But here's another question - if it is required, how does someone show proof that they're vaccinated?

Well, of course, there's an app for that, Several actually.

Local technology expert Lon Seidman sat down with NBC Connecticut's Dan Corcoran to talk about the options.

Dan: "This is a new thing for a lot of people in Connecticut - the idea of having to show that you've gotten the shot. And already we're seeing that there are different rules for showing proof of vaccination, depending on where you go."

Seidman: "That’s right and it’s going to vary based on not only where you go but what app the know the place that you’re going to wants to see and some might just want the piece of paper so it’s going to be quite a patchwork I think."

Dan: "We've heard about the Excelsior app that New York is using. The My Bindle app is being used by a New Haven concert venue. The Bushnell is saying you can show your card or a picture of it. Will people be confused by all these options?"

Seidman: "No question I think it’s going to be a real mess I think initially until something settles in. I think New York probably with their app because it’s kind of managed by the government might be a little bit more universal but in other places, it might be a patchwork like this where you have to look up what’s required before you go."

Dan: "And right now we don't really know where all of that information is going to go. As you mentioned, New York is a little different than Connecticut. So how do we know where the information we're uploading in that photo is ending up?"

Seidman: "That’s the problem. Because a lot of these tech companies that are running these apps are essentially running without a lot of regulation about that data. You do have some protection for your health data which would probably include a vaccination record but there’s other things that they might ask for when you sign up that they’re not required to protect as heavily perhaps as a medical record so it’s - I'm a little concerned about that because, you know, we don’t know who all these apps are they might provide a lot of convenience to the venue that they can create an easy way for the venue to get that verification but there might be information they’re collecting that those app makers are profiting from and there’s no law against them doing that so you’re making sure that the app you’re uploading to is in fact the one that the venue you’re going to is recommending.

"To be honest with you, I think the safest thing would be to have that vaccination card in your pocket and you can take it out and show it to the person when you get there because that way it’s not getting uploaded anywhere, it’s something that is contained on your person. It’s a bit scary we’re hearing things about identity theft related to people being tricked into providing a vaccination card to scammers so there’s definitely some cause for concern here both on companies that might profit from this and also scammers that might try to take advantage of a situation where they know the whole landscape is a patchwork and they might try to take advantage of that because you’re probably going to be uploading that card to 1 million different places depending on the venue."

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