Vaccine pass checks will take place “offline,” meaning it will not be possible to verify their use for signs that a pass may have been copied multiple times.
Businesses won’t need to verify that customers showing My Vaccine Pass are the people named on the passes in order to qualify for the rights they bring to operate at higher Covid alert levels, the Ministry of Health.
The ministry also said the passes would not use any technology that would reduce the risk of unvaccinated people using a duplicate pass printed or downloaded by a legitimate holder and masquerading as them.
But police “spot checks” are possible, he said.
Vaccine passes will be required to enter ‘high risk’ events and locations, including summer festivals, as part of the ‘traffic light’ alert level system that is expected to come into effect. in December.
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Hotel businesses such as restaurants and bars and those that provide “close contact” services, such as hairdressers and gyms, will also need to check passes in order to operate with fewer restrictions under the traffic light system. circulation.
The passes, which are designed to prove that people are doubly vaccinated, show the holder’s name and date of birth as well as a QR code that businesses can scan to verify the validity of the pass and a date of birth. ‘expiry.
But the passes – which can be downloaded to a phone or printed – don’t prove the person presenting the pass is the person named on the pass.
This has raised questions about whether companies should perform separate identity checks, to verify that the name on the pass matches photo ID.
The Department of Health said in a statement provided by spokesperson Jon Hoyle that businesses would not need to verify IDs as well as passes to qualify for their privileges.
But the ministry said it would have the right to do so if it wished, for example if it suspected fraud.
QR codes on passes contain a digital signature, which means they will not be valid if they have been forged.
But the ministry said it had not incorporated any technology that would prevent someone from copying a pass and posing as that person.
Instead, the pass simply confirmed that at the time of issuance, the person named on the pass qualified to be considered vaccinated against Covid in New Zealand, he said. .
“This is similar to approaches used overseas and is designed to allow submission and verification without online research. “
The approach means that the department will not be able to verify the use of the passes, for example to see if any of them have been used a suspicious number of times and were likely to have been used by several people.
“For reasons of confidentiality, there is no central reporting on the number of times an individual pass has been scanned, in order to avoid a situation where it might be possible to track an individual,” said he declared.
The system also means that passes cannot be revoked in situations where they have been abused.
“The ability to revoke individual passes would require auditors to check a central list of revoked passes, which can raise privacy and ‘social license’ issues,” he said.
But the ministry said police would be able to carry out spot checks.
“The police could be asked to verify that the identity of a customer matches their pass or to carry out spot checks on the sites. Their approach will be to educate the public first and then to enforce it, ”the ministry said.