Digital Covid Certificate: Parliament wants discrimination and privacy concerns addressed
The European Parliament finalised its official position on the „EU Covid-19 Certificate”, which aims at ensuring freedom of movement within the EU during the pandemic. The Pirates Delegation in the Greens/EFA group successfully influenced the negotiating mandate for the travel pass that is now to be inclusive of everyone and protects citizens‘ privacy.
Marcel Kolaja, Czech MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, comments:
“We managed to ensure that citizens who did not have a chance to get vaccinated do not become second-class citizens. Also, thanks to our amendments, certificates shall not discriminate against anyone based on their vaccination or socioeconomic status — and that was a crucial point for us from the very beginning. Covid-19 certificates should allow citizens to travel as smoothly, freely, and safely as possible during these challenging times. Therefore, I am glad to see that potential national certificates must be interoperable with the European one.”
German Pirate MEP Patrick Breyer comments:
“The Parliament wants the certificates to be privacy-friendly: Sensitive medical information belongs in the hands of the patient and their trusted medical professionals only. The medical data will be stored decentrally. We want to rule out centralised vaccination registers at national level because these could too easily be used for other purposes or hacked. In addition, citizens are to be given a choice whether they want to receive a digital or a paper certificate. We Pirates worked hard to make sure that EU citizens will retain full control over who has access to their health information.”
Mikuláš Peksa, Czech MEP and Chairperson of the European Pirates, comments:
“Going into the trilogue, we now have a strong mandate that values fundamental rights in the EU and prevents their violation by national governments. With the adoption of the official parliamentary position, Member States will no longer be able to link freedom of travel to the vaccination status or deny their citizens a paper-based alternative to an electronic device. It is also ensured that a negative PCR test will always be equivalent to vaccination.”