Apple is tightening its rules for apps that offer proof of vaccination for COVID-19, rejecting apps on the App Store that don't meet requirements.
In an announcement (opens in new tab) to developers, apps that offer a vaccine passport must be submitted by developers who work with public health authorities, such as test kit manufacturers, laboratories, or healthcare providers. This is to control the spread of misinformation, as there has been a significant increase in apps on the App Store that validate vaccines.
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"With the recent release of COVID-19 vaccines, we’ve seen an increase in apps that generate health passes used to enter buildings and access in-person services based on testing and vaccination records," the report stated.
Apple added it will also be accepting apps submitted directly by the government, medical and other credentialed institutions, but it will reject anything that relates to COVID-19 under games and entertainment.
A number of apps on the App Store will let users add a valid COVID-19 vaccination record or passport to the Apple Wallet, such as Healthvana. With travel around the world open in select destinations, or simply going to work, proof of vaccination records or passports is becoming a go-to for validation. With Apple providing strict restrictions to regulate the spread of misinformation, we'll hopefully not see anyone try to falsify information.
More companies such as Google are implementing COVID-19 related info into their apps, with Google Maps and Search now showing COVID-19 vaccination locations.