Switzerland: “Light” version of the Covid certificate is waiting for EU acceptance


The Swiss government – the Federal Council – decided to introduce a “data-minimized certificate light” and adapted the legal basis for this, the ordinance on Covid certificates. With the help of the “Covid Certificate” app * 3118492 *, which has already been launched, the owners of Covid certificates will be able to generate a copy of the certificate without health data in the Covid certificate app from July 12, reported the Federal Office for Information Technology and Technology Telecommunications (BIT).

At the request of the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), the FOITT was commissioned to develop a second, data-saving QR code for exclusive use in Germany in addition to the EU-compatible QR code – for cross-border traffic, for example. The data-reduced alternative to the Covid-19 certificate is intended to prevent health data of the vaccination from being viewed, explains the BIT.

The FDPIC worried that unauthorized persons could recognize the vaccine and the vaccination date by using unauthorized apps when reading a Covid certificate or for whatever reason the certificate was displayed as valid or invalid. “For example, the access controllers at a major event do not need to know whether the holders of the certificates request entry as a result of a vaccination, convalescence or a test,” says the top Swiss data protection officer. This copy of the certificate (“certificate light”) is only available in digital form, only indicates the existence of a valid certificate and is recognized as valid evidence in Switzerland for a period of 48 hours.

However, it remains unclear how the EU-compatible Covid certificate (with the complete data) will be accepted by the European Union. The technical aspects would work and Switzerland had made legal adjustments, the federal government announced at a press conference mid-week. But they “are unfortunately still waiting for the recognition of the Covid certificate by the EU”. A formal decision by the EU is pending. “When exactly that will happen, we can not say,” it said. The EU also has to observe its internal processes and can only make a formal decision when its own regulation is in force. However, the federal government expects a “timely regulation in the next few days or weeks”, according to a lawyer at the BAG.

As expected, it was announced in the middle of the week that the Federal Council had approved the expansion of the SwissCovid app to include a check-in function. The Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) wants to roll out a corresponding automatic update for the Swiss Covid warning app with immediate effect.

The “NotifyMe” * 3067973 * function should be used for smaller events and meetings. Event organizers can register their guests with the app. If the participant of an event later tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 and enters the Covid code in the app – which is sent by the official medical or contact tracing offices – an automatic notification is sent to all event participants. It is a decentralized check-in system that does not record any personal data and uses neither Bluetooth nor GPS.

Check in without leaving any data with SwissCovid check-ins


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