A private made-in Canada vaccine app easy to manipulate

Vaccine app unsecured?

A made-in-Calgary vaccine verification solution is coming under fire after an app, recommended by the Calgary Flames, has turned out to be easy to manipulate.

CTV News is reporting the private proof-of-vaccination app PORTpass may not securely protect personal information and may also be easy to manipulate.

The Calgary-based company indicated more than 500,000 users across Canada had registered for the app.

The app has been touted as a good way to store and show vaccine records and COVID-19 test results.

The app has gained support in Alberta, including with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation who have endorsed the app for use at NHL and CFL games in Calgary.

Unlike B.C., Alberta does not have a proof-of-vaccination app, but has indicated that it plans to create a QR code like the one currently in use in B.C.

A Calgary web developer, Conrad Yeung posted on his efforts to manipulate the app on Twitter. Yeung uploaded a fake photo and information onto the app, "CDNS needs to know the privacy, safety and ethical concerns for the @portpasscanada app you promoted. I uploaded a fake vac doc, and it was verified," says his tweet.

Just hours before the Flames NHL game versus Edmonton on Sunday PORTpass announced it was experiencing technical difficulties and indicated fans should bring paper copies of their vaccination record to the game instead of using the app.

The CEO of PORTpass agreed to do an interview with CTV News Monday afternoon, but then cancelled.

PORTpass then released a statement indicating they have taken significant steps to improve its product, "PORTpass would like to reaffirm the commitment to security that has been central to its operations since Day 1 and address the recent claims on social media falsely claiming to have had unrestricted access to the system’s database."

-with files from CTV News

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