‘Gateway Vaccine’: Will the COVID-19 pandemic change the approach to health data processing?

In the past year, COVID-19 vaccination programs have been implemented worldwide. At the same time, the vast majority of countries have not decided to introduce compulsory vaccination. Instead, they opted for instruments that allow immunization or health status verification. These instruments (e.g., EU Digital COVID Certificate) are used for a more traditional purpose – to enable international travel but are also applied in various domestic contexts. The latter often assumes sharing health data daily and in most ordinary circumstances. Much attention has been paid to the influence of using COVID certificates on the rights of unvaccinated persons. However, it is also necessary to acknowledge the long-term effects of the adopted solutions on privacy. Data related to health are subject to special protection and, so far, their processing outside the health care context has been limited. The paper addresses the consequences of normalizing health data processing in informational capitalism.