Quebec acknowledges the possibility of copying personal information included in the vaccination passport using a homemade reader, but warns that this is a fraudulent act that carries heavy penalties.
• Read also: Your data is at risk on the vaccination passport
Our FBI revealed on Friday that hackers easily created an application that makes it possible to copy personal information included in a vaccination passport and track certain movements of Quebecers.
The Minister of Digital Transformation, Eric Cairo, admits that “what is in the report is not false,” referring to this gesture of credit card cloning. “For us, it is a fraud. Those who will do so expose themselves to severe penalties.”
In Europe, where a QR code is mandatory, fraudulent use of the reader is punishable by a fine of 45,000 euros and imprisonment for one year.
Quebec has not yet determined what penalties will be imposed.
However, the minister would like to be reassured, while citizens will have to present this vaccination passport to access non-essential businesses such as restaurants, from 1 September.
“Keebakers have no need to worry,” the minister pleaded. The government QR code reader that will be on the Apple Store and Google Store will provide maximum security. It is impossible to change the QR code. You can’t generate fake code,” he says, assuring that all security checks have been done.
The government has written the “minimum information” required on the QR code so it can run everywhere, he said. In addition to the name, gender and date of birth, the type of vaccine received is written there.
“It is true that in a restaurant you do not need this information. But if you want to cross the border, you need it,” Eric Kaer explains. “In the United States, they don’t recognize all vaccines.”
In an email, the Department of Health declined to take responsibility for protecting the data in the Quebecers’ Vaccine Guide.
Minister Cairo also insists on the importance of protecting his vaccine guide and using it only at the specified times.
However, opposition parties are calling for Quebec to provide better protection for this data.
“The principle of the vaccination passport is that it must be scanned at the entrances to restaurants and bars!” He’s totally crazy. “If the information in the vaccination passport is unsafe, it is entirely the government’s fault,” said Vincent Marisal, Member of Parliament for Solidere.
“It is their duty to ensure that the Passport to Vaccination is safe and that everyone’s personal information is protected,” said Liberal Health spokeswoman Marie Monpetite, who supports the Passport to Vaccination app.
For its part, the Parti Québécois party renewed its desire to convene a parliamentary committee. “Who gave the technology approval from the government? We want to hear them,” MP Matin Ole asked.
The Minister of Cairo confirmed that a press conference is scheduled to be held in the coming days to answer questions.
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