Alberta launches new vaccine app
The province of Alberta unveiled its new app for businesses to scan to prove that someone has been vaccinated.
After a rollout delay, the app is now live on the Apple and Google Play Stores.
Businesses are able to scan the QR code of any customer and a green check mark will verify the authenticity of the vaccination.
It will also display a person’s name and date of birth, which businesses are asked to check against other identification.
“Our new proof of vaccine record and verifier app is more secure and easier to use for Albertans and businesses taking part in our Restrictions Exemption Program,” said health minister Jason Copping.
The AB COVID Records Verifier App is free to download.
As of November 15th, it will be the only way to verify someone’s vaccine status.
Businesses participating in the restriction exemption program will require two doses from customers as of October 25th for them to enter the facility.
Businesses will need to download some sort of QR code reader app.
The province said the vaccine record QR code is secure through a watermark and its storage of vaccine status. The new app will not store personal data.
One cybersecurity expert expects to see some hiccups with the rollout.
“We haven’t actually had a lot of time for testing is the concern and so here you are rolling out something very quick, because everybody kind of needs this app right now, “said David Papp.
“Yet, I think the adoption rate is going to take awhile.”
Those who do not have access to a cellular device, can get a printed copy of their QR code that verifies their vaccine status.
'THERE IS GOING TO BE SPEED BUMPS'
Nathan Newman, owner of Derrick Gin Mill & Kitchen said businesses will need time to implement the new verification status.
“There is going to be speed bumps,” he said.
“I mean I don’t think anything is going to go flawless in this day and age.”
Newman hopes the new app streamlines the process, especially when restaurants get busy.
“It’s going to create some confusion amongst patrons, probably amongst staff a little bit,” said Newman.
“So it’s going to take a week, bare minimum to get caught up.”
The province says anyone caught creating or using a false vaccination record is an offence subject to prosecution and/or fines of up to $100,000 for a first-time offence.
If there are issues scanning a QR code from your phone, officials say to zoom in on the code and increase the brightness. The QR code may not scan properly if the printing size is reduced or the paper copy is wrinkled.