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A privacy look at the COVID-19 vaccine websites

Let’s look at the COVID-19 vaccine websites… because the Markup did.  The investigation measured accessibility and privacy protections… and the results aren’t great.

Nevada’s ranked the worst on the privacy front, with Utah, New Jersey, and Hawaii also with poor results.    Texas, New York, Kentucky, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico all had no ad trackers or third party cookies at all.  On average, the sites had 2.8 ad trackers and 3.4 third party cookies.  Nevada also ranked poorly for performance.   

Most of the sites did perform well on an accessibility front, however.

Why do we care?

One might be inclined to be generous with these sites due to the timetables.    Don’t be.      That’s how security problems begin – you do it fast, not right.

I’d make the argument that these are the places to REALLY do it right.   Why are we putting ad trackers on these sites anyway?     Some implementer made the active decision to do that.     

We care because of the missed opportunity.  Tech both have and had the opportunity to be part of the solution, and here instead are part of the problem.     Each of these decisions DOES have a cost – it has a cost in customer perception.   You should care because you CAN stand out from the crowd when you handle customer data differently.   Privacy is becoming a feature.  

Source: The Markup