In a terrifying move, New York has launched a “vaccine passport” program to allow businesses to easily accept or deny residents based on whether or not they received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The “Excelsior Pass” is marketed as a “free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results” via smartphone app.
New Yorkers are not legally required to participate (for now) but businesses can deny entry to people who have not gotten their vaccine.
My objection isn’t even really related to the vaccine; the passport infrastructure will encourage private companies of every kind to engage in an emerging social credit system. It’s perhaps inevitable, but vaccine gives it a massive boost.
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) March 29, 2021
“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo said,
Officials of the Empire State claim that blockchain and encryption technology will ensure the security of users’ private data, but critics on both sides of the political aisle are warning that the passports may be the first step in a much broader encroachment of personal liberty:
Despite medical authorities’ endorsement of the various COVID-19 shots, concerns persist thanks in part to public health officials’ contradictory guidances on every aspect of the pandemic over the past year, from masks to lockdowns to social distancing, and partly due to the fact that they were developed and released in roughly a tenth of the time it usually takes to develop, test, and review vaccines.
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