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Privacy advocates demand more information on New York's Excelsior Pass

They want to know who has access to the data, and whether local police or federal agencies can see who is vaccinated or not.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Last week New York State announced the Excelsior Pass, which will act as a badge to gain entry to concerts, sporting events, and theaters for those vaccinated or with a negative COVID-19 test.

Now privacy advocates are demanding more information from New York State over who has access to the data, and whether local police or federal agencies can see who is vaccinated or not. There's also concerns over digital segregation that a pass like this could cause.

"The privacy policy is one of the worst I've ever seen," according to Albert Fox Cahn of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. "There's nothing here to prevent this information from being used by police, by other government agencies, and there's no information about how this is actually being set up, you know.

"IBM and the governor have given us buzzwords like 'blockchain' and 'anonymization,' but they haven't actually given us the technical details to know whether those are actual protections or just privacy buzzwords."

2 On Your Side has reached out to the state to answer some of those questions, but they did not immediately respond.