The Vax Verify system the Illinois Department of Public Health unveiled on Aug. 11 is designed to give residents easy digital access to their COVID-19 vaccine immunization records, but some cybersecurity professionals are raising concerns about data privacy.
Amid reports of missing records, some are criticizing the portal’s use of Experian, a credit reporting agency with a history of security breaches, to verify users’ identity.
Maurice Dawson, director of Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for Cyber Security and Forensics Education, said state governments are generally less equipped to secure critical networks containing sensitive information than a well-funded private company or the federal government, which he says operates with far more cybersecurity standards and guidelines than state governments.
“A lot of people go to the commercial sector because they’re paying the most salary or they’ll go to the federal government,” Dawson said. “But state and city governments pay weakly. The type of employees being drawn to those jobs might not be the best, I hate to say.”
Alexis Hancock, director of engineering at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, joins Dawson on “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the system.