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A United States Passport with Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card

TechTank Podcast Episode 24: Managing Privacy, Equity, and Access in COVID Vaccine Passports

Vaccination rates are on the rise and several countries, including the United States, are relaxing public health restrictions as they steer toward a full reopening. Digital health certificates, or vaccine passports, are part of these efforts as a number of organizations are requiring proof of vaccination. But while digital health certificates may facilitate a safer reopening and faster economic recovery, technological solutions to vaccine verification also raise valid concerns about the privacy of personal health data and their potential to exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities.

To discuss these issues, host Nicol Turner Lee is joined by Mark Hall, nonresident senior fellow at Brookings and the director of the Health Law and Policy Program at Wake Forest University’s School of Law; Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project and the editor of the ACLU’s Free Future blog; and Emily Skahill, research assistant at the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings.

You can listen to the episode and subscribe to the TechTank podcast on Apple, Spotify, or Acast.


TechTank is a biweekly podcast from The Brookings Institution exploring the most consequential technology issues of our time. From artificial intelligence and racial bias in algorithms, to Big Tech, the future of work, and the digital divide, TechTank takes abstract ideas and makes them accessible. Moderators Dr. Nicol Turner Lee and Darrell West speak with leading technology experts and policymakers to share new data, ideas, and policy solutions to address the challenges of our new digital world.

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