After watching the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee, the cross-party committee appointed to scrutinise Government this week on COVID-status certification, this is what we are up against: These academics and ministers consider it a given that decades of international Human Rights laws can be swept aside for a virus that is statistically comparable to seasonal influenzas.
The government has already signed several vaccine passports contracts going back to last year, including one worth up to £21m that can be renewed each year. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) earlier this month signed a contract with HH Associates, a subsidiary of outsourcing firm HH Global, to produce paper vaccine passports for people who do not have access to a smartphone or a computer. The contract, worth up to £21m this year, will see the Surrey-based firm print and post vaccine passports to members of the public in England unable to access their vaccination status for free digitally. The agreement is due to expire in May 2022 but can be extended annually.
Gove says that they haven’t decided on vaccine passports, yet the goverment has awarded contracts for NHSX COVID19 Vaccination Certification Programme at £21,000,000: for “the printing and mailing of secure, COVID-19 vaccination paper documentation”
During todays Parliamentary Inquiry meeting into 'COVID-19 Vaccine Certification' Michael Gove was asked:
"Mr Gove, how long has the idea of Covid certification been under consideration?"
— Luther (@LutherBurgsvik) May 27, 2021
The deal is a call off from a framework agreement, meaning it is a subsidiary contract from a pre-existing agreement with HH Global.
Asked whether vaccine passports might be used to reopen the hospitality sector, Mr Gove added: “It might be the case in venues like nightclubs you could see a role for it”.
“COVID Status Certification has been under consideration for a few months” Michael Gove said at yesturday’s meeting. We know is lying because it was first reported via the media on 2nd April 2020 that the Government were looking at ‘Immunity Passports’.
He added that in his “own view” any vaccine passport programme “has to be rescinded at some point in the future”. This is a another lie.
“This is the biggest shift in civil liberties in the history of the United Kingdom. Why is it OK for this to happen by stealth?” said Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, former director of advocacy group Liberty.
“This is a recipe for bullying and discrimination with no public consultation or Parliamentary consent. They promised us this was going to happen by consultation, and instead it’s happening by stealth. Liberal and libertarian Conservatives, like all UK citizens, must stand up.” She said.
Steve Baker, deputy chair of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of Tory MPs, said “The Government appears to have decided to introduce Covid-status certification — a two-tier checkpoint Britain — by stealth, without a vote in Parliament.”
Mr Gove said England “could introduce the system in stage four” of the roadmap for leaving lockdown, under which all social distancing restrictions are due to be lifted on 21 June. The Government signed a further contract to help facilitate the introduction of Covid vaccine passports while the public consultation was still underway.
DHSC sealed a contract with software development firm Answer Digital on 26 March to oversee the “architecture leadership for [the] vaccination certificate programme” — three days before the public consultation into whether to introduce vaccine passports had even concluded.
Privacy advocates have warned that the contract shows the Government tried to shuffle vaccine passports into action while pretending to still be considering them at all.
“Covid IDs pose one of the greatest threats to freedoms in Britain for decades whilst providing absolutely no benefits to public health. The domestic use of these digital passes will turn us into a segregated, checkpoint nation.” – said Jake Hurfurt, head of investigations at civil liberties group Big Brother Watch.
And that’s not the only ‘Covid Certification’ contract that the govt has recently signed. They just keep piling up. The govt recently awarded a contract for services related to the ‘Covid-19 Certification Programme’. The contract ends 31 March 2022. – NHSX-Entrust – G-Cloud Call-Off – PKI – Bridgeway v0.6 – Redacted.
It’s clear that this is already a done deal and that the Covid Certificate review is nothing more than a formality. And now people who do not have smartphones may be forced to bring their own passports to the theatre or sports matches to prove their identity after June 21 under government plans:
It is not only for international travel, if you add in all the related services such as hotel bookings, car hires, these health passes and negative COVID-19 tests become entangled in our everyday lives which would link into and feed our new digital identities.
What is now happening is the true transformation of travel: A new digital era of passenger experiences with digital identity at the very core.
“The need for digital identity – a way to easily and securely verify your interactions online – has been building for years, but the pandemic has accelerated our dependency on the digital world. As the world looks forward to getting back on the road and back in the air, interoperable credentials and identities are an integral part of the blueprint for restoring travel and restarting the global economy.” said One World Identity.
In this roundtable talk: they say ultimately, seamless travel should be intuitive and personalized, according to McMillen. Her fellow panellists from backgrounds in hotels and payments agreed on the need to reduce friction and give a sense of safety. – Christina McMillen is the Senior Innovation Implementation Program Manager at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
“For an individual, I think sharing your personal biometrics and having it be seamless can be quite delightful, but I think people also want to understand that they are being kept safe when it comes to their data privacy,” said Sarah Clark Senior Vice President of Digital Identity at Mastercard.
Having looked at Mastercard’s Sarah Clark’s Profile its quite revealing: She is leading the next step in the transformation of Digital Identity at Mastercard where they are laying down a “Global Interoperable Re-Usable Digital Identity Network”. There you have it folks, this has nothing to do with viruses, this is about implementing a global digital identity control grid for you.
“In the future I believe individuals across the globe will have a Digital Identity so that their data privacy is preserved and which will interoperate across the array of digital experiences that are important to people’s lives – transforming the digital ecosystem into having more trust and making the lives of individuals across the world simpler and more inclusive. At Mastercard we are working on just that – I lead a team that is putting into place a Digital ID network guided by standards and global interoperability, simple user experiences, strong governance and trust, and best in class partnerships. I welcome messages from folks who want to learn more.”
She was also the Senior Vice President and GM Digital Identity at IDEMIA, another company which is leading the charge in Biometric based Vaccine Passports.
“Idemia is the global leader in solving the most important digital identity challenges worldwide. We have the only truly authoritative identity verification product due to our ability to access the official government root of trust in many parts of the world, and we have the most robust and market tested biometrics platform globally serving a wide range of ongoing authentication needs battled tested by major initiatives such as Aadhaar registering over 1 billion biometrics.”
“We feel like we can add a lot of value by weaving together those disparate systems as well as adding an overall governance and level of identity assurance … we would like to help build a network to assert that you have one digital ID and therefore you bring that with you wherever you may travel.” says Sarah Clark,
"Digital Identity could be the key to traveling"
Their not even hiding it anymore. https://t.co/6ELKYDrV7m
— Sikh For Truth (@SikhForTruth) May 25, 2021
Linking digital IDs could bring a whole new level of experience for travel according to McMillen. Digital IDs linked by consent could mean people going to the airport to meet elderly parents arriving could receive push notifications of where they are in their journey through security and baggage reclaim; parents could be updated on the progress of a child making on their journey as an unaccompanied minor and be informed of all the people the child has interacted with along the chain of custody.
Also the UK Home Office’s vague plan for “some form of contactless corridor or automated gates for identity and security checks” may be much more defined than the government’s announcement would suggest as, the New Statesman reports that face biometrics-powered contactless corridors of the type iProov powers for Eurostar are planned for implementation. The biometric corridors would check the face biometrics of foreign travellers arriving in the UK against a photo submitted online beforehand. The plan unveiled by Home Office mentions contactless corridors only in the sentence quoted above, but also details plans for U.S.-style Electronic Travel Authorization.
iProov CEO Andrew Bud told the New Statesman his company has made “indirect” contributions to Home Office’s plans for airports. The goal is integrating Vaccine Passports with face biometrics:
“If governments require digital biometric Covid-19 Vaccine health credentials for travel, then integrating them into automated processes is the solution for a smooth restart”. IATA has recently said.
IATA on Vaccine Passports & Digital transformation have also said: “It fits with industry’s technology roadmap that will focus increasingly on digital ID & contactless processes. Enhancing the digitalization of passengers including ID and travel checks and align with OneID.”
Also its 100% Confirmed: Vaccine Passports Are Digital Identity. “Digital ID is fast progressing as a foundation for facilitating new efficiencies in public service and governance, economic growth, and the opening up of society coping in a global pandemic.”
Some are even calling for: “Fully vaccinated patients could use their digital vaccine passports or decentralized identifiers (DID) to easily “unlock” certain experiences, such as an in-person visits with their GP”. – Daniel Cidon CTO Next Gate. You heard that right.
This is all coming on to boil and this battle is not over yet, here is what we must do.
🟥 Apply maximum pressure on all MP's to fully reject this scheme.
🟥 Boycott any company or venue that will implement this technology after June 21st
🟥 Domestic or international – the superobjective is to strip your rights & repackage your liberty. https://t.co/2GLD7ASIg8
— STOPCOMMONPASS ❌ (@org_scp) May 28, 2021