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Soon, at the end of June 2021, the Federal Council wants to introduce a "Covid certificate". But what does this certificate actually mean for us citizens?
With the adoption of the Covid 19 law, the introduction of this "vaccination certificate" is legitimized. On 19 March 2021, Art. 6a "Vaccination, test and recovery certificates" were subsequently inserted into the Covid Law. But it is doubtful whether the population was fully aware of what they approved on 13 June.
What are we promised? The certificate beckons a return to (new) normality and unrestricted mobility, but only for the vaccinated, recovered and tested.
Conversely, this means: partial exclusion from social life for all those who do not want to participate. This de facto stigmatisation is unethical and contradicts the Swiss Federal Constitution. It turns on its head what was previously true: namely that the other person, my counterpart, is harmless and does not have to prove his or her state of health. It empowers certain social actors to control entire populations without being legitimised to do so. It divides what is by definition indivisible: fundamental rights. They no longer apply to everyone, but to certain groups.
The Swiss government did its best to refrain from providing comprehensive information about this problem. Instead, a pseudo-debate was forced in the media. Suddenly it was up for discussion whether a certificate would even be ready by the summer and which canton would be the first to be able to offer a certificate. Furthermore, the Federal Administration left it in the dark for a long time as to which private companies were commissioned by the Federal Administration for the technical development and why it awarded four contracts without a call for tenders. To this day, there are unanswered questions in this regard; the FOPH took a very long time to reply, and the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT) refused to answer at all. At the same time, however, the FOITT had the certificate ready for use within a short time.
Shortly before the vote on the Covid law, on 9 June, there was suddenly talk of a "light" certificate that would store less data than the "full" version. Two different certificates then?
And what about its time limit, which the Federal Council promised? There is no more talk of that either. Neither parliament nor the Federal Council want to commit to a deadline. And a technology, once introduced, is expanded, not abolished.
Austria is giving a foretaste of where the journey could lead. The Austrian government has tabled a bill to link digital vaccination passport data with various other personal data - on employment situation and socio-economic status.
What is missing is a broad social debate about the dangers and effects of this technology. Let's kick it off!