The vaccination against COVID-19 has started in several countries around the world, and we have already seen some apps that let users prove that they have taken the vaccine with just their iPhones. Now Apple is tightening the App Store rules to ensure that apps offering proof of vaccination are only submitted by health authorities.
According to a statement shared with developers on Tuesday, Apple is seeing an increase in the number of apps that generate health passes with proof of vaccination, which can be required to enter buildings. To ensure that people do not falsify such information, the company will require these apps to be submitted to the App Store by health authorities.
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. To ensure these apps responsibly handle sensitive data and provide reliable functionality, they must be submitted by developers working with entities recognized by public health authorities, such as test kit manufacturers, laboratories, or healthcare providers.
As with other apps related to COVID-19, we also accept apps submitted directly by government, medical, and other credentialed institutions.
As mentioned by Apple, the company had already been requiring COVID-19-related apps to be submitted to the App Store by governments and public health authorities in an attempt to stop misleading information. Apple also rejects apps that use COVID-19 themes for entertainment or games.
Last year, Los Angeles County developed a new app in partnership with startup Healthvana that lets its residents add proof of COVID-19 vaccination to the Apple Wallet app, so it was only a matter of time before other institutions did the same.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.