‘Fooled by screenshot’ Sturgeon feels heat as new scheme has major flaw

Sturgeon slammed by campaigner over 'illiberal' vaccine passports

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Despite previously being warned the app could be subject to fraud and abuse, Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf argued there was a safeguard in place to prevent attempts at fraud. But following the £600,000 app’s release – it was quickly exposed as being vulnerable to fraud.

The Scottish Government designed its own app after rejecting offers from England and Wales share theirs – and it has been plagued by major technical issues from the start.

Now another major flaw in the app has caused fresh worries for the Scottish Government.

Soon after its release, the app allowed any users to screenshot an image of a vaccine passport and send it to anyone that they wish.

This means there is a risk people across Scotland could be using vaccine passports when they may not necessarily be fully vaccinated.

With businesses only needing to “visually” check QR codes for people to gain entry, this major flaw sets up the potential for people to wrongly use the app for false entry into places.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, the leader of the Scottish LibDems, said it was clear that the system could be “outfoxed by anyone who knows how to take a screenshot” and called for the app to be scrapped – a repeated call by a number of MSPs in Holyrood.

“The launch was a shambles and the IT system struggled to cope.

“What’s worse is that these illiberal ID cards will not even keep people safe. It will breed false confidence and allow the virus to spread under the radar.”

He added: “This whole saga has been a shameful distraction from the measures that we know can help us defeat the virus: testing, tracing and vaccinating.

“Covid ID cards should be abolished immediately.”

On Monday morning, Humza Yousaf attempted to defend the flawed app on BBC Scotland, praising the “really helpful” security features built in the app.

He added: “For example, the screenshotting facility in your phone is disabled when you’re using the verify app, so you can’t screenshot the information that comes up.”

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Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for COVID Recovery, had recently spoken to Express.co.uk about the issues which this app may cause in Scotland.

Mr Fraser said: “The SNP’s vaccine passport scheme is their latest disaster in a long line of failures.

“At every turn, Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf have shown their arrogance and failed to listen to the massive concerns from businesses.

“Their Green allies also sold out their principled opposition to vaccine passports for an increase in their salary and Ministerial positions.

“The SNP could easily have signed up to use the same app as England and Wales.

“Instead, they chose to spend £600,000 outsourcing their own version simply to be different from our closest neighbours.

“The public can see right through these nationalist stunts from Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

“This completely backfired on them when the launch of their own app was a total shambles.”

The Scottish Government have been contacted for comment on this matter.

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