China, the Global Health Passport and Our Privacy

A recent article in the Global Times, the unofficial voice of the Communist Party of China provides us with some insight into where our post-pandemic world is headed and the role that China might play in our future "freedom".

In the March 9, 2021 edition of the Global Times, we find this:

Here are some quotes with my bolds:

"Chinese experts noted on Tuesday that China can help by sharing its experience with and provide technical support to the WHO to organize the issue, as China is the most experienced country in using a health code system in the world while the WHO is the most proper organizer for the matter to ensure independence, fairness and data security.

Technology would not be a problem, Chinese experts said, noting that if the international community unites to promote the work, a platform can be established within 2-3 months and, optimistically, can be used for the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled between July 23 and August 8.

In terms of technology, I believe that Chinese companies can build an international platform in just one week, but it is better that the WHO, rather than any country or regional organization, be the organizer to ensure the independence, fairness and data security of the platform," Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Tuesday."

The article notes that the World Health Organization can draft the rules, procedures and data format for the passports while China would use its experience in data sharing.  

To put this development into context, just the day before, China announced this:

 

On March 7, 2021, China launched its international travel health certificate which contains an encrypted QR code that can be scanned by the relevant departments of nations around the world to vermin its authenticity and read the personal information that is included.  The certificate includes the following information:

1.) nucleic acid test results.

2.) serum antibody test results.

3.) vaccine inoculation information.

Here is a quote from the article:

"In the era of epidemic normalization and the post-epidemic era, the importance of health factors in international personnel exchanges will become more prominent. In the near future, as more and more countries reach mutual recognition of health certificates with China, the Chinese version of international travel health certificates will play a greater role in promoting healthy, safe and orderly exchanges of transnational personnel, and provide Chinese citizens a solid guarantee when traveling across the world, the Foreign minister (Wang Yi) said….

Wang also said that China is willing to discuss with other countries the mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccinations, which would be helpful to resume people-to-people exchanges in a safe and orderly way."

Given that China is home to the social credit scoring system, one has to wonder whether we really want China to be in charge of a database and passport system that is most likely to ultimately contain far more than personal health information related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  With China having the technology which allows them to conduct mass surveillance on its citizens as shown here:

….and here:

…governments around the world are likely rubbing their hands with glee thinking that this may just be the answer to their pressing need to know everything about us and track our every move.

Do we want this as our future?

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