Cyber expert on digital vaccine passports: "Do you want your data out there?"

New York State Excelsior Pass, one of several digital vaccine passports
NYS Excelsior Pass, one of several digital vaccine passports Photo credit Getty

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Proof of vaccination will see its first big test this weekend when Eric Church performs at KeyBank Center and the Buffalo Bills host the Washington Football Team.

At Highmark Stadium, all guests, age 12 and older, will be required to provide proof of at least one dose of the Covid vaccine to attend Sunday's Bills game.

Guests attending Church's "The Gather Again" tour will be required to show proof of at least one vaccine dose.

More than 70 thousand people must show a vaccine app from their phone or a physical vaccine card along with their ticket as they enter the gates starting Sunday morning.

"I would just present the paper vaccine card," said cyber expert Arun Vishwanath in a WBEN interview Thursday morning.

"I'm still not sure what information the app is communicating with a third party. The paper card is the safest thing to bring at this time," said Vishwanath.

There are several vaccination apps available to the public. The Bills are accepting the New York State Excelsior Pass and Clear Digital Vaccine Card, or your physical vaccination card. Photocopies of the vaccine card will not be accepted. There is no test-out option.

Apple, in the latest iOS 15 update, is allowing users to add COVID vaccination cards to it's Health app, which in turn creates a vaccination card in
Apple Wallet.

Vishwanath says Apple is not looking at your data, but a third party might be.
"On my health app, it's got my weight, my EKG and even my hand washing data. Should people be able to look at that?" he asked. "It sounds far fetched but that data is already integrated into your health app right now. If you have an Apple device, look at the data that it's collecting. It's enormous. You have to ask yourself, who do I trust with that data?"

There are just too many questions for Vishwanath. "We tend to trust Apple among all the tech companies, as they have earned our respect to some extent. But they are integrating this with their Health app. That's a problem. Apple is not interested in your health data. But when a third party scans it, how do we prevent them from doing a deeper dive, and looking at more data than they need?

The Bills are enforcing the new vaccination policy starting with the game Sunday against Washington. Starting October 31, guests must be fully vaccinated for entry, after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As of Oct. 31, guests attending an event at the KeyBank Center must be fully vaccinated.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty