CTS Eventim, a leading ticketing service operating primarily in the European market, has announced the launch of software that can be deployed to validate so-called “digital health certificates” in areas where event opeators or local officials are requiring them for event access due to COVID.
“Our aim in introducing this software for checking health certificates is to help people to experience live events with as few worries as possible,” says Anexander Ruoff, CTS EVENTIM’s COO in a press release. “We are providing promoters with a high-performance solution that enables them to run events efficiently while still protecting public health and without inconveniencing attendees.”
In practice, the CTS EVENTIM system allows event operators to verify both tickets and health status using the same scanning device. This can be tailored to whatever requirements are in place locally for event access – full vaccination, or a recent negative COVID test – conveyed to the ticketing system via a QR code generated by the health passport/certificate system. CTS EVENTIM touts the system as featuring “maximum data protection” for those attending events because no health information is stored or linked to the tickets themselves, which naturally come with an enormous amount of user data harvested for future use by ticketing companies and their marketing partners.
“During the verification process, the system checks the information provided by the certificate code anonymously and locally against the event criteria specified by the promoter, for example how recently the coronavirus test must have been taken,” the release says.
As live events have reopened across the globe, the deployment of systems to verify attendee vaccination status or a recent negative test have drawn quite a bit of controversy. Privacy advocates have shared concerns that such systems add a new layer of data to one that already takes too much from consumers due to the increasing use of mobile-locked ticketing systems that provide a bonanza of data that consumers have no choice but to allow to be taken. In some instances, local authorities have explicitly forbidden that venue organizers require proof of vaccination status or a recent negative test by executive order, such as in Florida.
The debate on privacy vs. COVID safety is likely to only get more pitched as some areas have begun re-instituting mask requirements and other COVID safety protocols that had previously been rolled back due to the recent uptick in COVID cases in the United States fueled by the Delta variant.