Those of us who remember the good old days when democracy stood for something in the free world, also place great value in upholding human rights and citizen freedoms. We tend to also have a regard for data privacy. Hence, we’ve been watching for developments in the area of biometric identity systems - commonly thought of as identity, health and now even vaccine passports. Knowing that many citizens are fervently opposed to such invasions of personal privacy, we shouldn't be surprised to see such technologies seamlessly, surreptitiously and insidiously finding their way into our lives and onto our mobile phones.
During the course of our ongoing research, we have come across this page on the GOV.UK Digital Marketplace listing the VPlatform® and VCode® by VST Enterprises. It’s basically code-scanning technology, similar to bar codes, but on steroids. And now we see it’s being used to power the V-Health Passport.
Further searching has uncovered a number of concerning facts, not least of which is that the code can be scanned from up to 100 metres away and all that data is being collected by one company, VST Enterprises, a monopoly owned by one man, founder, Louis-James Davis. The concept is backed by VST Enterprises’ ambassadors, Zara (née Philips) and Mike Tindall, who seem unaware of the potential for travesty or injustice with citizen rights, promoting the V-Health Passport as a way to open up sporting events and get back to normal.
Dialling back a few months
Draconian changes to legal systems fuelled by a health emergency slid glibly into law in many countries at the beginning of lockdown. These laws have given governments sweeping powers to do pretty much whatever they want with and to citizens under the guise of public health and national security. In the UK, the Government has even abolished (albeit very quietly!) local by-elections and other polls till after May 2021. British parliamentarians are voting on whether to extend the emergency Coronavirus Act on Wednesday 30th September. Write to your MP if you’d like to have your say ahead of the vote.
Given what we’ve all experienced over the last 6 months, it’s understandable that citizens are looking for firm reassurance that hard-won human rights and freedoms are being respected and upheld in the manner expected by governments of supposedly democratic countries. Yet, we seem to be sliding deeper down the slippery totalitarian slope on a daily basis. Our video compilation from Saturday’s peaceful educational rally in Trafalgar Square, London, demonstrates what appears to be an unwarranted use of police force. It’s hard to believe the UK was once a beacon of democracy in a free world.
During lockdown in April and May there were murmurings in a few reports that immunity passports may be key to returning to normal life. But a Downing Street spokesperson reassured concerned citizens, that the NHS were only at the very early stages of reviewing the options of what is available, but stressed that: "The science is a considerable way from being able to support something like a health passport". We all breathed a sigh of relief and took heart that there was proper oversight for something so critical.
VST Enterprises appears to have partnered with the UK government in developing an application called ‘COVI-PASS’ to track a citizen’s Covid-19 history and immune response, along with other health information. The COVI-PASS was slated to use a proprietary matrix called ‘VCode’ and is billed as the world’s most secure digital health passport.
It appears that VST Enterprises’ V-Health Passport has replaced the COVI-PASS and it’s being billed as a valid track and trace system too. The VCode® is apparently able to store every sensitive detail about your life using military-grade encryption software and is powered by an ‘intelligent system’ called VPlatform®, where the codes are generated, tracked and the analytics are produced. We quote, “No other technology on the global market today can solve security, distribution and consumer adoption challenges with a single protocol”. Having seen how the likes of Google and Facebook have exerted control over information, how might such data that is controlled by a single man be abused down the line? And what damage might ensue if those data fell into the wrong hands?
As we’ve mentioned, the VCode® can be scanned outside of the 2m safe distancing zone and can be scanned up to and over 100m away at angles of up to 160 degrees - even if 30% of the code is obscured or destroyed! It’s easy to see how this could be of enormous benefit in fraud prevention (also one of the intended purposes). But just how malevolent could it be when used to hold personal data such as health records?
Enter LATUS Health
We watched with interest the recent promotional video on the V-Health Passport where Zara and Mike Tindall welcome Jack Latus (MD, Latus Health) into what appears to be their home. The caption under the video states, “Zara Tindall and her husband Mike have both tested negative for coronavirus after using an at-home kit, the ten-minute Covid-19 Rapid test.”
Whilst administering the pin-prick device and dropping blood onto the test strip, 'Dr' Latus is heard to explain that this is “… only testing for antibodies”, testing 3 antibodies - IgA, IgG and IgM. All good so far, except that the MD tag used on-screen, we found from subsequent research, wasn't an acronym for his Medical Doctor status, but rather for his Managing Director status. Deeply misleading.
Where we ran into real difficulties is when Mr Latus gives them their results and declares them both “… clearly negative for covid-19”, whereupon they both take off their masks. Perhaps if Mr Latus had been an MD, doctor, he’d know the difference between an antibody and an antigen test. Since comments under the video have been disabled, we’ve not been able to comment. Advertising Standards Authority complaint perhaps? Oh no, they're a media industry self-regulator and part of the mainstream media machine.
Without getting into the minutiae of testing accuracy, Mr Latus - and VST Enterprises by default - have just sent Zara and Mike out thinking that they’re in the clear and are not infected by Covid-19. Their V-Health Passport will get a green light and they’ll be able to freely enter whichever sporting event they want to attend in the sure knowledge that they’re not carrying the virus. Only the test they had was an antibody test, which can only tell you if you’ve made antibodies to the virus in the past, not whether you're currently infected.
VST Enterprises is out there selling its V-Health Passport, and listed on the UK Government marketplace, as a means to get back to normal. The idea is that people will have to pay £15 a test and take it twice a month to maintain their passport. Results are shown using a traffic light system:- green for a negative test result, the world outside your home is your oyster, red for a positive test, do not pass go, languish at home and amber signals the countdown to your next test. Ka ching. But what does this mean if the data is junk and antibody tests are being used as if they were antigen tests?
It’s deeply worrying that an individually-owned, government-sanctioned company like VST Enterprises has such powerful technology that is open to misuse, is using a non-health professional to front the promotion of the V-Health Passport and has so little understanding of the tests that could ultimately be used to determine citizen freedoms.
Is this the new world order we're going to hand over to the next generation?