The personal vaccine passport QR code of French President Emmanuel Macron has been leaked on social media, raising questions over the system’s ability to protect the health privacy of citizens.
On Tuesday, the QR code linked to the ‘pass sanitaire’ of Mr Macron was leaked on social media networks, including Snapchat and Twitter.
The government at the Élysée confirmed to BMF TV that the pass, which correctly displayed his name and date of birth, was indeed the personal QR code for the French leader. Prior to it being disabled, the QR code also contained information on when Macron was vaccinated and with which brand of vaccine.
“This system works, but there has been an ethical flaw on the part of one or more health professionals. Someone made an impression of the QR code and circulated it voluntarily or by negligence,” the government said.
Le QR Code de Jean Castex est désormais affiché comme frauduleux dans TousAntiCovid.
— Raphael Grably (@GrablyR) September 21, 2021
— Red Kapo (@KapoGaming_off) September 21, 2021
The privacy breach comes just days after French Prime Minister Jean Castex also had his vaccine passport leaked online after a press photographer snapped a picture of Castex with the code visible on his smartphone. Using the picture, several people were able to insert the QR code into their coronavirus app in order to gain access to Castex’s profile.
A research director at the french cybersecurity firm Sogeti, Mathis Hammel posted a picture of Castex’s pass on his social media account.
“Game over, I have the Prime Minister’s vaccination QR code,” Hammel wrote, adding: “Promise I got it legally and I won’t do anything with it, call me if you want a helping hand in cybersecurity.”
The incidents have raised concern in France over the ability of the government to safeguard the private health data of its citizens when it is incapable of protecting the privacy of its top leadership.
Papers Please: Paris Police Patrol Cafes for Vaccine Passports https://t.co/362J7xGxKK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 10, 2021
Under the coronavirus health pass legislation, creating forged vaccine passports can result in up to three years in prison as well as a fine of 45,000 euros. Those who are found to have used someone else’s health pass also face a fine of up to 750 euros, rising up to 1,500 if a valid health pass is not secured within 15 days of the offence.
Three such violations within a month could also result in six months behind bars and a fine of 3,750 euros.
Last month it became a requirement across France to present the vaccine passport to enter into bars, cafes, and restaurants, including those with outdoor seating. The health papers are also mandated for long-distance travel including buses, trains, and aeroplanes.
The pass sanitaire, as it is known in France, logs whether a citizen has either had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, a negative coronavirus test within the past 72 hours, or proof of recovery from the Chinese virus within the past six months.
Over the past two and a half months, hundreds of thousands of protesters have demonstrated throughout France against the imposition of vaccine passports and the requirement for healthcare workers to be vaccinated in order to keep their jobs.
Man Fined €10,000 for Portraying Macron as Hitler Over Vaccine Passports https://t.co/l0POBbGpY1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 20, 2021
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka