More and more places are requiring patrons to show their vaccine identification in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, the vaccination card is a pretty cumbersome item to carry around. Apple has decided to try and make things easier for folks by using their Apple Wallet service in a truly inspiring fashion.
Apple has decided to try to make things much easier for people who plan to frequent those businesses or venues that are requiring a COVID vaccination ID. Instead of carrying a physical card in your wallet or having to dig through your pockets or purse, Apple will now be bringing verifiable COVID vaccination cards to their Apple Wallet app. This new feature to the Apple Wallet will come via future iPhone software updates. The just-released iOS 15 already gives iPhone users the ability to store verifiable COVID vaccination information and test results by way of the Health app. Apple plans on syncing the Health app to Apple Wallet, though no specific date has been announced, it will come as an update to iOS 15.
So, what will this new feature look like for iPhone users? Well, those who link their personal and private data to Apple’s Health app should see a screen pop up that has the following vaccine information: which medical provider administered your vaccine, exactly which vaccine you got (Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, etc), and the dates you got your needle sticks. When Apple Wallet is integrated, users will then see a prompt pop up telling people to “Add to Wallet and Health.”
Once users have added to Apple Wallet, they can then access their digital vaccination card that has their information and a QR code. This code will allow any merchant the ability to scan it for vaccine confirmation. Apple says the information will display briefly on the merchant’s device, but your private and personal information will not be stored permanently on their device.
As we move further into this new way of life, should you be concerned that your personal health data won’t fall into the wrong hands if you use the Apple Wallet function? Well, if you ask Apple, they say they are promising strict privacy for all your data.
Apple says they will not have access to any imported or shared records. If you plan on transferring data elsewhere, all information must be encrypted and securely stored. They promise they can’t see your vaccination card or even how you use it. They give you the ability to share your private information with “approved” third-party apps, but you can only do this on a one-time basis.
All these privacy and security promises surrounding Apple Wallet may fall on deaf ears though. There have been so many instances in the past where hackers have found their way into the most secure of systems, stealing private data at will, and using it to cause major trouble for businesses and consumers alike.
Apple and their Apple Wallet hope the safety features they have in place will lessen the anxiousness many have with storing and sharing their personal health data. With proof of vaccination likely to become more the norm across the nation, you will need to decide if digital access will be more convenient for you, or do you simply wish to carry a physical card.