It's Not A Vaccine Passport, It Just Looks Like One

What good is a ban on vaccine passports if the government is going to do an end run around it and roll out a digital ID tied to your medical information anyway?

Several Republican-leaning states that had rejected so-called vaccine passports over fears they limited freedom are now embracing the technology behind them.

At least five states with bans on “passports” or governor opposition to them — Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Utah — are developing or have already rolled out the technology. But they’re largely doing it quietly and for slightly different reasons.

Utah's initiative is an app called Docket, which is also used by New Jersey and Minnesota for providing digital vaccination records. The Docket app is an implementation of the SMART Health Card Framework, which has been developed by the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI™).

The Utah app is presented as a means of “proving your vaccination status.” The word “passport” is not used.

However, these apps, whether they are called “SMART Health Cards”, “vaccine passports”, or anything else, still presume someone has the right to know your medical information--which vaccination status unquestionably is.

As a reminder, the HIPAA Privacy Rule is still on the books. According to the CDC, this is what the Privacy Rule covers:

All medical records and other individually identifiable health information used or disclosed by a covered entity in any form, whether electronically, on paper, or orally, are covered by the final rule.

Whether which vaccines a person has received falls within that scope I leave for the reader to decide.