The state of California has launched a tool designed to give residents easy access to a digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccine information. Unlike New York's Excelsior Pass, it's not an app people have to install on their phones. It's a simple website where residents will have to enter their name, date of birth and the phone number or email they used when they got their vaccine. They also have to create a 4-digital PIN, which they'll have to remember to be able to open the digital copy of their vaccine record.
In addition to a link with their information, users will also get a QR code that makes their record readable with a QR scanner. They can use that to gain entry to establishments or events that require customers or attendees to have been vaccinated beforehand. While the digital records are handy to have, the California Department of Public Health "recommends that vaccinated Californians keep their paper CDC card in a safe and secure place." Their digital COVID-19 vaccine record is supposed to be a convenient backup they can take with them wherever they go.
The state government said the tool was built following "national standards for security and privacy," since it will have access to people's sensitive information. That said, it may not work perfectly at the moment. One of Engadget's editors from California signed up and found that his information on the digital version of his record was incorrect. The initiative may be suffering from some rollout issues that's affecting the state's database.