New York City’s COVID Safe app has reportedly fallen short, registering an image of Mickey Mouse as proof of vaccination.
Surveillance Technology Oversight Project founder and executive director Albert Fox Cahn put the app to the test and noted it “isn’t exactly cutting edge technology.”
“It accepted this portrait of Mickey as proof of vaccination,” Cahn tweeted on Monday.
“We need to get New Yorkers vaccinated, not another City Hall PR stunt.”
We need to get New Yorkers vaccinated, not another City Hall PR stunt.
— Albert Fox Cahn (@FoxCahn) August 2, 2021
New Yorkers will now need to show their “Key to NYC Pass,” the state’s “Excelsior Pass” or their vaccination card for entry into indoor dining, indoor fitness facilities and indoor entertainment facilities in New York City, according to the New York Post.
“I announced the Key to NYC Pass and about five hours later the president of the United States endorsed it,” Democratic NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday, according to WNYW-TV.
“[It’s] not connected to the internet. Can’t be hacked.”
Cahn, however, pointed out that statement is not true. The app is internet-enabled and will document a user’s IP address.
“That statement from a technical perspective just doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
“I think this is just more proof of the dysfunction between City Hall and Albany.”
Over 3 million New Yorkers have downloaded the state’s Excelsior Pass, which Cahn was reportedly able to hack in 11 minutes.
The NYC COVID Safe app is different than the Excelsior Pass because it does not have a document verification method, WNYW reported.
“The difference between vaccine cards and the app is the apps look more secure,” Cahn said.
“But the truth is they’re just as easy to forge as that piece of cardboard.”
New York City is the first city to take the proof of vaccination approach to handling the pandemic, which will be enforced starting Sept. 13, WNYW reported.
“There’s no doubt that this mandate is going to pose significant challenges for local restaurants, bars, and workers,” New York City Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie said.
“But we also recognize that we cannot go back down to reduced occupancy and shutdown orders, which could likely happen if we do nothing now.”
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