New York TimesJune 2, 2021 14:25:49 IST
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a wealthy crowd flashed it to participate in a socially distant dance performance at Park Avenue Armory. In Chelsea, people showed it to attend John Mulaney’s stand-up set at City Winery. And in Troy, NY, patrons use it to enter a small Speakeasy-style bar that only vaccinated guests can enter.
This magic ticket was introduced in March as the country’s first and only government-issued vaccine passport with the Excelsior Pass in New York, and is currently only accessible to vaccinated people in the state.
Authorities hope that New Yorkers will be confident in their business safety and help revitalize the state-wide economy, which is still upset from the losses experienced during the pandemic. But to do that, more people and businesses need to start using it and make vaccine passports more universally accepted.
Vaccine status is basically just a QR code on your cell phone, but among conservatives who claim that passports violate privacy concerns, passports and vaccine passports are a political ignition point. It has become.
According to the state, as of last week, about 1.1 million Excelsior paths were downloaded to phones and computers. But so far, 9.1 million New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated.
Authorities hope that this path will become more widespread.
Eric Pissini, IBM’s Vice President of Emerging Business Networks, who developed the New York Excelsior Pass, said New York is in talks with other states to make the pass available to residents outside New York. Stated. Yoker elsewhere.
“In the field of applications, when we reach 1 million people, it’s a pretty good threshold to pass,” says Piscini. “This is a very good sign that people are finding value in this. . “
Nationwide, various states such as Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, and Florida have already banned the use of vaccine passports and are proposing a ban as a measure to protect personal privacy and vaccine choices.
In New York, some lawmakers support new legislation that enhances privacy protection.
However, while major sports venues and more and more small New York companies are accepting the use of this app, the vast majority of companies do not require vaccination proof to enter. (The state did not disclose the number of registered companies.)
The state states that if you use the Excelsior Pass, you must also accept a paper vaccine card as a form of certificate.
Some businesses, especially those for adults such as art venues, are beginning to dive into the world of verification. For example, Chelsea City Wineries not only accept Excelsior Passes, but also use CLEAR Passes as a way to check their health and vaccination status. Governor Andrew Cuomo encourages the move towards fully vaccinated crowds by allowing businesses to ignore social distances when everyone is vaccinated.
However, Civic Tech experts warn that the pass is relatively easy to operate, just like a paper vaccine card.
Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, a non-profit watchdog, took just 11 minutes to download someone else’s Excelsior Pass using information posted on social media and Google search. Many people post pictures of vaccination cards that include their name, date of birth, date of vaccination, and type of injection.
You can also upload each path to an unlimited number of devices, or print and copy it. The Excelsior Pass, which the state has spent $ 2.5 million on development, does not contain biometric data for privacy reasons and should be compared to the ID.
“We want magical software that tells us if our neighbors are vaccinated, but we need to understand that these apps really can’t,” Khan said. “After all, it’s built primarily on trust.”
At the City Winery on Wednesday, outdoor hosts were sometimes asked to show their ID when entering with an Excelsior pass or a paper vaccination card, but sometimes they didn’t. In the arsenal, a COVID compliance officer wearing a face shield carefully checked the ID, but instead of scanning the QR code on the pass to reconfirm its accuracy, he visually checked the QR code on the pass.
There is no law requiring such measures.
“We trust our viewers,” said Michael Dorf, CEO of City Winery, adding that employees make their choices at their discretion.
Accessibility is another concern. Vaccine deployment in New York was undermined due to its heavy reliance on complex internet booking systems. This system has benefited tech-savvy people. Many older New Yorkers and New Yorkers with insufficient internet access struggled.
If the path becomes widespread, the same people will face different technical hurdles. Noel Hidalgo, executive director of BetaNYC, a non-profit public technology organization, said the state could spend more time and effort helping to improve vaccination rates for blacks and Hispanics, but the state has a vaccine passport. He said he didn’t think he should invest millions of dollars. I found a quick way to replace a lost or damaged paper card with a New Yorker.
“Why are we focusing on providing technical tools to a small group of New Yorkers who have digital literacy and understand how to access them?” He asked.
Data entry delays and data entry errors also limit who receives the pass. According to state spokesperson Jennifer Gibner, about 4% of people who tried to get a pass couldn’t get a pass.
The pass draws information from the state and city vaccination databases. If the information is entered incorrectly (for example, misspelled or incorrect initials), the path cannot be found.
IBM recently added a phone number check to the app’s ID field to make it easier to find someone’s vaccination. Only four of the five fields, including first and last name, date of birth, and zip code, must match to get the pass.
A Reddit thread aimed at helping people who couldn’t get a pass points out that entering an old zip code may work.
“Yes, it was a zip code that I hadn’t used for 14 years,” one user wrote in a thread.
Those who do not get a pass can fill out a complaint form and call the state hotline, but in most cases the vaccinated organization will need to correct the data, which is not always easy. .. People vaccinated at veterans’ hospitals like John Taylor, a 77-year-old Vietnam War veteran living in the Pleasant Valley of New York, are out of luck because the Excelsior Pass also has no access to federal vaccination data. ..
“I had it laminated,” Taylor said of the paper vaccine card. “I’ll forget about the pass.”
State officials emphasized that an Excelsior Pass is not required, as paper cards are always available. Mr Cuomo recently said he was still showing paper cards.
At recent Park Avenue Armory and City Winery shows, about half of the patrons waiting in line flashed the Excelsior Pass to prove vaccination, and the rest had a card or a photo of the card. It seems that I used it. Both venues had additional options for unvaccinated guests, including rapid on-site testing and accepted evidence that recent coronavirus tests were negative.
“I’m proud of that,” 42-year-old Scott Hernandez talks about his Excelsior Pass while waiting to see if he and his friends have space to have dinner at the winery. “We need to educate more about it.”
However, the degree of social acceptance of the Excelsior Pass may vary from state to state. Blowbacks can be severe in more conservative areas.
Gretchen’s Confections and Café, a small chocolate shop in Auburn, New York, has harassed social media from across the United States after a photo of a sign that calls for vaccination to stay indoors has spread through word of mouth. received. The signboard has been removed and the store is now open to anyone.
“It’s very polarized,” said owner Gretchen Kristenson. “They call us Hitler, fascists, and” racist cafes. ” I think there are few people who oppose this, but they are just loud and intimidating. “
And when Matt Baumgartner announced that one of his bars, the Berlin Lounge in Troy, NY, would only allow vaccinated guests due to its small size and lack of outdoor space, he said. I was struck by the disgust of social media.
In both cases, loyal customers have garnered support, and lounges and shops have been doing well in recent weeks.
“I’m a very strong believer in vaccines. Some of me feel that visiting more places is like a reward,” Baumgartner said.
Sharon Otterman c.2021 The New York Times Company
New York’s Excelsior Pass is USA’s first COVID-19 vaccine passport- Technology News, Firstpost Source link New York’s Excelsior Pass is USA’s first COVID-19 vaccine passport- Technology News, Firstpost