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Tap to Enter: Samsung to get into the vaccine passport game2 min read

Lots of noise is made about “vaccine passports”, but one convenient thing about it is the ease and speed of proving one’s vaccination status when required to enter a building. In NY the Excelsior Pass has been around quite quickly after the vaccines were made available. Acquiring a pass requires verifying some information, then getting a QR code the state issues. The pass also has your name on it. Pair the scanned code with photo ID and you have a verifiable way for a bar or stadium to know if someone is vaccinated. Even if the QR code was a screen shot from someone else’s phone, the name shown on the scanning devices wouldn’t match the ID.

On this topic comes a report from NBC News where Samsung is partnering with a company called CommonHealth to roll out a sort-of DIY / any state solution:

Samsung, which manufactures Galaxy smartphones, announced Wednesday that it is partnering with the Commons Project, developers of one of a number of vaccine passport smartphone apps.

Like New York state’s Excelsior Pass, the CommonHealth app asks users to undergo a one-time process by sharing their names and their dates of birth and the dates and locations of their vaccinations. The app connects with vaccination providers to verify the information, and if it’s correct, it creates scannable QR codes embedded with that information.

NBC News

If the process works similar to NY’s app (it queries the CDC or state vaccination database to confirm vaccination), this is a quick way to get one’s information and store a pass on one’s phone. The nice part about Excelsior Pass is New York added an export feature for iPhone’s Wallet. So a double-click of the side button brings up the pass in a matter of seconds. A feature like this on ALL Android phones is sorely needed and in any state where people want to have this information on them. Yes, one can keep a photo of their vaccine card on them, but that easily susceptible to doctoring someone else’s CDC image to look legit. It also doesn’t help that the CDC cards given out do not fit in a wallet nor have any security features to help spot fakes.

One further complication is no mention of a solution for those without smartphones, internet, or any other capability to obtain a digital proof of vaccination. It would be nice to see those individuals given a solution that’s simple and effective.

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