The breakout of the pandemic brought dreadful consequences. Simultaneously, it gave birth to the experimentation of developing vaccines. It has given hope to people that the pandemic may come to an end. However, this breakthrough has given rise to new challenges. There are certain aspects that need to be addressed with the emergence of digital solutions.
Why Verifying Vaccination Passport?
The development and acquisition of COVID certificates were enough initially as they represented evidence for the governing bodies to believe that an entity is vaccinated. Problems started to arise when cases were reported where people appeared to be certified as possessing the COVID Passport but when investigated, they were guilty of lying because the document was found to be forged. This malpractice gave rise to increased provisions for further verifying the COVID certificates to validate their authenticity with due diligence. Document verification service is used to verify covid certificates.
Vaccine Certificate Scam
It was reported that fake travel vaccine certificates were disseminated not even in one region but also in 22 countries and it turned into an established business where some entities sold forged vaccine certificates. Those countries included the UK, USA, France, Spain, Morocco, and Portugal.
These frauds were not only confined to physical platforms but also invaded digital media. According to the news by BBC, it was reported that in the time span of seven months in 2021 and 2022, it was found that more than 1000 fake application channels were delivering forged certificates to people who were not actually vaccinated.
Also, email scams are also on a rise. What happens is that a fake email is sent to the user asking for personal information. The email appears to be authentic because it takes you to a real-looking website of a verified governing authority of the country where you reside. It provides fake certificates and compromises users’ data security as well.
VRV systems for COVID Vaccination
Vaccine record verification systems are introduced digitally to verify vaccine certificates. These digitized systems pose a threat to data security because AI and machine learning technologies are indeed advanced to tackle the new challenges but these advancements may malfunction and compromise the authentication process as a result. Moreover, these digital systems have also given birth to inequalities in society.
Failure of Digital Immunity COVID Passport
In 2020, many countries started to think about introducing digital immunity passports that were intended to provide information regarding the number of antibodies that are considered enough in a human body for neutralization. But this technology did not get approval as it posed a serious threat to human life. Because there were chances that those proposals might have suggested a high number of anti-bodies than the actual required for neutralization.
In addition to that, despite the use of immunity passport apps, there is still a risk of getting reinfected thus compromising the credibility of this technology. COVID verification process is vulnerable to the risk of data misuse as well which again weakens its credibility.
Roadblocks in Advanced COVID Vaccine Verification
There is a lack of trust prevailing in various regions of the world like the US and Europe because of the exposure notification app of COVID which provides a contact tracing facility to governing bodies to identify the infected population. In a survey conducted in the US IN 2020, 46% of people found it to be a privacy breach requiring cellphones for COVID Passport Verification.
Measures Suggested for Ethical COVID Verification
The Vaccine Authentication Process Should Ensure Security
The legal authorities and governing bodies should adopt the due process needed for validation of the COVID certificate but while doing so they should avoid asking for irrelevant information that may bother the privacy of people. In fact, the information acquired by the legal bodies should only be accessible by authorized entities. Moreover, the government should encrypt this information in the backend server of the system. In this way, the information will not be subjected to the risk of exposure compromising security. OCR technology is used for this purpose.
Improved Protection on Mobile Apps
It is likely that the people will be required to give their medical information when applying for a digital passport. Instead, the mechanism should be designed in a manner that should not demand them to give any information on a continuous basis. Instead, a digitized QR code should be enough to prove their vaccination status. The authenticity of the QR code system is critical in this case for the validation process.
Also, these digital passports should be ensured to be only accessible to the holders when they log in. it will help mitigate the threat of data insecurity and thus, strengthen public confidence. Another tactic to secure user data is to enable built-in authentication through biometric verification. It will allow the users to safely access their digital COVID passports.
Nowadays, attaining the status of being vaccinated is not enough as hackers and misusers of inflation have dug out new ways to exploit these documents. Thus, vaccine certificates should be validated through authentic digital solution providers which are authorized by the government.