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QR code: less information than that on the driver's license

QR code: less information than that on the driver’s license

Concerns about security related to the vaccine passport QR code are growing as the measure is set to go into effect on September 1 in Quebec.

However, for a cyber security analyst, the risks related to personal data theft are rather minimal considering that the QR code contains very little fragile information.

“Let’s be clear about one thing, the QR code contains the name and date of birth… It’s a lot less information than just information about all the other bits of identification that we have that we don’t have. It’s really no problem applying when you’re applying,” explains Stephen Lachance, who cites With a driver’s license, for example.

In addition to the name and date of birth, the QR code contains information about the person’s gender and vaccination such as the place, date and time of the appointment.

“There is no health insurance, social insurance, phone number, or email,” says Lachance.

The latter is well aware that it is easy to imagine data theft scenarios, but suspects that merchants are malicious.

“We have already submitted identity documents that reveal more information about us than a QR code. Is there really a network of illegal merchants who register when we give our card to the convenience store? Obviously not. With a QR code, I think it would be the same ,” he says.

Another important clarification: the application that will be used to read QR codes will not log data.

“We scan and after a few seconds, there is no more data in the system. So there is no geolocation and there is no database for anyone who has not been sent anywhere,” identifies Stephen Lachance.

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Our Bureau of Investigation revealed, Friday, that in less than 15 hours, Hackers managed to create an app It made it possible to copy personal information included in the vaccination passport and to track certain movements of Quebec residents.

However, Mr. Lachance stresses that the said app will not be the one used by merchants.

To some extent, a cybersecurity expert believes that concerns about a QR code are exaggerated.

“I think the system and the way it’s designed is great. I think there are issues beyond technology, and most of all. We have philosophical and social issues around us. [l’utilisation d’une preuve vaccinale]. But in terms of technology and the risks around privacy, I think it’s very far-fetched,” he concludes.