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New app wants to get employers to verify workers’ vaccine status

Civil liberties pushed aside.
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In the US, employees are facing more and more pressure to reveal their vaccination status as many companies are moving to bring them back into offices, after Covid lockdowns forced them to work remotely for over a year.

For now at least, only 30% of companies that recently took part in a Willis Towers Watson poll are implementing mandated vaccine status requirements, or are thinking about it.

And to facilitate and sell this approach companies like identity technology vendor Proxy are coming up with solutions that are said to bypass both the principle of trust between employer and employee, and presenting CDC digital vaccine certificates in order to have somebody’s vaccination status verified.

Since sensitive data safety and privacy are major concerns about any of the apps that have sprung up during the pandemic, Proxy was careful to downplay those fears by saying the new app will not require employees to share their “health data.”

The way it works is by uploading photos of CDC cards – and government-issued ID – that will then be accessed and verified by an “iPad check-in kiosk” at a company’s entrance.

Proxy’s co-founder and CEO Denis Mars went as far as to say that this is a “privacy-first” approach, but reports so far are sketchy about how the app actually works to better protect privacy.

What is clear is that it is geared towards helping businesses, especially large ones, bring back their workforce to the office while avoiding the hassle of hand-checking vaccine cards.

The Wall Street Journal wrote earlier in the month that some companies seem to be losing patience while attempting to persuade workers to get the Covid jab by offering benefits such as money and time off.

While still not outright mandating vaccination, more and more corporate businesses outside the essential services sector are pursuing the vaccine push more aggressively, by either asking for verification of vaccination status or making their employees’ lives more difficult by “restricting their activities.”

These companies are relying on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recent new guidance that said employers are allowed to require all workers to be vaccinated in order to return to their physical workplace.

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