Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Alberta’s Proof-of-Vaccination Program Begins Today

Natalie Valleau, CBC News:

The Alberta government launched its COVID-19 immunization record on Sunday so vaccinated individuals can print out a card-sized copy — but it turns out getting your name on one isn’t difficult.

After the site launched, many took to Twitter to exclaim that the PDF was not locked and that virtually anyone can edit the information on it if they have access to Adobe Reader.

I get the concern, but a home-printable copy of a Helvetica-typeset list of vaccinations is not some unforgeable document. It is trivial to unlock PDFs, too. This is apparently a stopgap measure until QR code-based authentication rolls out later, and it sure feels half-assed. It is not even the size of something you can easily fit in your wallet.

I think it is pretty objectionable they launched this program at a separate URL — albertavaccinerecord.ca — instead of a subdomain of alberta.ca. The first time I saw the address, I had to visit the Alberta Government’s website to verify that it was a legitimate address. I bet very few people did the same. This teaches terrible security practices.