W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > April 2020

Re: Important Issue for Immunity Credentials

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2020 09:51:23 +0200
Message-ID: <CAKaEYhLqEor6PxfY-FoMULBB4P0BmPGeNa5uz4iizP32U_rbjA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Christopher Allen <ChristopherA@lifewithalacrity.com>
Cc: Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
On Tue, 7 Apr 2020 at 19:21, Christopher Allen <
ChristopherA@lifewithalacrity.com> wrote:

> As was discussed briefly in the call today, if we are going to talk about
> #Covid19 technology solutions, we must partner with health &
> epidemiological experts to do it right.
> For instance, it has been proposed that we support some kind of digital
> immunity certificate. Even if we ignore its possible human-rights & privacy
> risks, it can have still have risky public health care choices:
> https://unherd.com/2020/04/how-far-away-are-immunity-passports/
> “If you issue immunity passports on this basis, *barely a third *of the
> people you give them to will actually be immune. “There’s nothing peculiar
> about this statistically,” Kevin McConway, an emeritus professor of
> statistics at the Open University, told me. “It’s just Bayes’ theorem
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes%27_theorem>.” The likelihood of you
> having had Covid-19, if you’ve had a positive test, depends not just on the
> accuracy of the test but on the prevalence in the population you’re looking
> at.
> …
> In the end, that’s going to be a horribly cold-blooded calculation. If you
> let people out when they’re 90% likely to be immune, that means one person
> in 10 is going to be at risk of getting and spreading the disease. Is that
> risk a price worth paying for reducing the real costs (economic, social,
> physical, mental) of isolation? I don’t know and I’m glad I don’t have to
> work it out. But someone has to. And they’ll have to start by getting a
> reasonably effective test, and testing hundreds of thousands of people, to
> see how many of us have had it.”

An excellent point.  This disease has only been studied for 3 months.  It
is at this point impossible to be certain of any kind of immunity or
lasting immunity.  It could be as short as 3-6 months.  You could INFER
that an individual MIGHT be resistant, but that is based on limited
observation.  WAY less confidence interval than would be acceptable for a
clinical trial.

I tested myself for IgM and IgG at home this week with the pinnacle biolabs
test and it came back negative.  I will attach a screenshot, because that
could reasonably be part of a verifiable claim leading to a credential.
You could make a JSON statement about that

We need to take this virus more seriously.  It is trying to infect large
swathes of humanity, killing a large number of those in the process.  There
is no cure.  We dont know the medium and long term side-effects.  And it is
one mutation away from becoming more deadly.  And this is just wave /
season 1.  By letting it spread we increase the probably of creating a
truly world shattering virus, and one that could be faced every year.

There are some economists actively proposing INCREASING the infection for
various reasons.  And using an immunity passport as a means to do that.
That should be considered unacceptable.   Any more than saying it's OK to
drive under the influence of alcohol.   It's fine when it works, but may
sometimes lead to incredibly undesirable outcomes.  You do get an official
certificate for that (points on license or a fine or criminal record).

If an economic theory is considered harmful to humanity, we should get rid
of it.

We can and should try to bake into our technology, inferences and laws, a
principle that the bearers of our claims will not be harmful to innocent

[image: image.png]

> — Christopher Allen

(image/png attachment: image.png)

Received on Wednesday, 8 April 2020 07:51:51 UTC

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