Last Updated on August 18, 2021
The Illinois Department of Public Health is launching a program called “Vax Verify” that asks residents to verify and download a receipt of their vaccination status, noting that “More and more companies, such as United, Google, Netflix, Morgan Stanley, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ascension Health, and Lyft, are instituting vaccine requirements for at least some of their employees.”
Vax Verify will be contracting with consumer credit reporting company Experian, which will use an “identity verification process to gain access to their immunization history.” Experian has lobbied to share consumer data with the NSA, DHS, and other law enforcement agencies.
“As more businesses, events, organizations, and others require proof of vaccination, Illinois residents will be able to confirm using Vax Verify that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement on the IDPH website. “With the current surge in cases, more people are making the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine and this new tool will aid residents in confirming their vaccination where needed.”
The site also warns that “More and more companies, such as United, Google, Netflix, Morgan Stanley, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ascension Health, and Lyft, are instituting vaccine requirements for at least some of their employees.”
“The verification system follows best practices to protect confidential health information,” the website states. “In order to download proof of vaccination, residents will go through a brief, one-time identity verification process to gain access to their immunization history. The State of Illinois utilizes Experian® as its identity verification service provider. Individuals who have placed a freeze on their credit will need to unfreeze their credit with Experian® and wait 24 hours before completing the registration process. After completing registrations, individuals can re-freeze their credit by contacting Experian®.”
Experian was the subject of a massive security breach in 2015 that resulted in the personal information of some 15 million people being exposed online. The Guardian reported at that time that “Experian has lobbied in support of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, legislation currently being considered in the Senate that would broaden its immunity were it to share its stores of information with the Department of Homeland Security (which in turn would be compelled to share it with law enforcement and the NSA).”
President Barack Obama signed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act into law in December 2015.