Vaccine record QR code working again, investigation into failed launch underway: health minister

Alberta's health minister says an investigation is underway into potential privacy breaches that happened when the province's updated vaccine record QR code became available, but that it is working again. 

Jason Copping told media on Monday a "technical issue" on Alberta's website "resulted in a possible privacy breach" when the QR code, updated to meet federal standards, launched on Nov. 24.

"The website was sent down immediately following initial reports of this potential issue and an investigation is ongoing to understand the technical cause of the problem and the number of Albertans affected," he said, adding that the issue has been resolved. 

"I apologize to this potential breach and I want to thank all Albertans while we worked to resolve this potential issue." 

The QR code is not connected to other health or personal information. Copping said other checks have been built into the system to prevent future issues and the findings of the investigation would be shared in the future. 

The new record includes residents' middle names and is written in both official languages. It is necessary for domestic air and rail travel, as well as international travel, but not Alberta's Restrictions Exemption Program. 

Alberta’s QR code scanning app is supposed to recognize both the current and updated code. The province also says the app can scan codes issued by other provinces and territories, as well as Canadian Armed Forces records.

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