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Apple Says COVID ‘Health Pass’ Apps Are Limited to Developers Working With Public Health Authorities


Apple today informed developers that “health pass” apps can only be submitted by developers that are working with recognized public health authorities.

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A “health pass” app is classified as an app that generates a pass that’s used to enter buildings and access in-person services based on testing and vaccination records.

Apple says that to make sure these apps are responsibly handling sensitive data and providing reliable functionality, they’re being limited to developers work with test kit manufacturers, laboratories, and healthcare providers.

With the recent release of COVID-19 vaccines, we’ve seen an increase in apps that generate health passes used to enter buildings and access in-person services based on testing and vaccination records. To ensure these apps responsibly handle sensitive data and provide reliable functionality, they must be submitted by developers working with entities recognized by public health authorities, such as test kit manufacturers, laboratories, or healthcare providers. As with other apps related to COVID-19, we also accept apps submitted directly by government, medical, and other credentialed institutions.

Apple has been restricting COVID 19-related apps since March. Apps providing data on COVID must be submitted by developers working with recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions. Apple does not allow COVID 19-themed entertainment or game apps, nor any other app not submitted by a qualified developer.

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