Vaccine selfies are all the rage, and rightly so! Being part of this historic public health effort is something to document and celebrate. Experts say photos and public affirmations of vaccination can help overcome skepticism.
Just don’t get too photo-happy and broadcast your personal information in the process.
The Better Business Bureau recently issued a public warning to deter people from posting pictures on social media of their vaccine cards. These cards are the paper records people get when they receive their first vaccine shot, documenting their inoculation and eventual second shot. They also contain private information including your birthday and the site where you received your vaccination.
The Bureau says that people have been sharing photos of the cards on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. But this isn’t a good idea. It might enable scammers to gather personal information about you, which could lead to identity theft.
In some countries, including the UK, scammers have begun making and selling fake vaccination cards, which might enable someone to “prove” they’ve been vaccinated. The BBB advises that posting pictures of vaccine record cards might enable nefarious actors to do this more easily.
The reminder to not post your information online willy-nilly is a good one, but there’s a flaw in the vaccine cards themselves. These are simply pieces of paper bearing records information; they’re not secure identifiers like a license or passport. They’re more akin to the appointment reminder cards you’d get at the doctor, rather than they are to any sort of health identifier. That’s why some experts have said these cards should not be used in an official identification capacity at all as they’re so easy to copy.
Meanwhile, some companies are banding together to help make digital, scannable vaccine ID cards a reality. That effort definitely sounds vaguely dystopian, even if it makes more sense than a losable, copyable slip of paper.