Vaccine passports are an encroachment on civil liberties and should only be introduced after careful consideration, according to Canada’s privacy commissioners.

Supporters argue that as there is a significantly decreased risk of a vaccinated individual becoming infected or infecting others with Covid-19 and such passports could open up society again by allowing increased personal liberties, fewer restrictions on social gatherings and accelerate economic recovery.

But in a joint statement the commissioners said: “So far we have not been presented with evidence of vaccine effectiveness to prevent transmission, although members of the scientific community have indicated that this may be forthcoming.”

Vaccine passports presume people will be required or requested to disclose personal health information in exchange for goods, services and/or access to certain premises or locations.

Given they consider that is an encroachment on civil liberties, the Canadian commissioners have gone public with their concerns surrounding.

They call for vaccine passports to comply with privacy laws and incorporate best practices to achieve the highest level of privacy protection because of the sensitivity of personal health information collected.

“Above all, and in light of the significant privacy risks involved, the necessity, effectiveness and proportionality of vaccine passports must be established for each specific context in which they will be used,” they added.

“Data minimisation should be applied so that the least amount of personal health information is collected…”

“Active tracking or logging of an individual’s activities through a vaccine passport, whether by app developers, government or any third party, should not be permitted.”

The passports’ necessity, effectiveness and proportionality must be continually monitored to ensure that they continue to be justified and decommissioned when they are not, such as when the pandemic is over, the commissioners said.

For mre informaton on vaccine passes, make sure to tune into the panel discussion “Vaccine Passes: The Tech, The Law and the Importance of Data Protection and Privacy” on June 22 at 4pm, at PrivSec Global.

Register now