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Health Ministry stalls on Covid Pass anti-fraud measures

Covid-19 vaccine passes

MINISTRY OF HEALTH/Supplied

Covid-19 vaccine passes

The Ministry of Health has been unable to provide answers on whether it has incorporated anti-fraud measures into My Covid Passes to stop unvaccinated people using other people’s vaccine passes.

It has also been unable to confirm whether businesses will need to perform ID checks to ensure people presenting Covid Passes are the people named on the passes in order to benefit from the benefits they may bring to operate at higher alert levels.

The ministry launched the long-awaited vaccine passes on Wednesday, allowing people to download or print out the passes, although its website crashed under the load of visitors.

The information on the passes comprises a QR code that businesses are expected to be able to scan to prove the passes are valid, and the name and date of birth of the person who was issued the pass.

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Businesses would need to conduct a separate ID check if they were to be certain the person named on the pass was in fact the person presenting one to them, and be sure of a customer’s vaccination status.

The ministry was asked on Monday whether businesses would be required to perform such checks in order to allow them to benefit from the right that pass-checks would bring to operate at higher alert levels, but said on Tuesday and Wednesday that it needed more time to provide a response.

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It said it also needed more time to say what if any anti-fraud measures it had put in place, for example to stop people from printing or downloading multiple passes and passing them on to others.

The ministry has so far been unable to say whether it plans to audit the use of Covid Passes to detect suspicious activity, or whether the QR code on each pass would change each time it was downloaded or printed to invalidate copies that had previously been requested and reduce the risk of fraud.

Spark subsidiary Mattr, which was contracted to develop technology behind the Covid Pass system, deferred questions on Monday to the ministry.



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