New York's vaccine passport expected to cost state $27M 

New York's digital COVID-19 vaccination verification app is expected to cost about $27 million, The New York Times reported Aug. 19. 

In June, the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, an advocacy group that has expressed concerns over privacy and security of vaccine passports, provided the Times with New York's original contract with IBM for the development of the app, dubbed Excelsior Pass, which said the project could end up costing about $17 million. 

The latest version of the contract, signed by New York's Office of Information Technology Services in late June, added another $10 million. The state had already incurred an extra $656,421 in charges for technical support and updates, and a second phase of the project ended up costing more than double the estimate, rising to $4.7 million from $2.2 million, according to the report. 

The New York's governor's office defended the contract and said it would only spend the full amount if the program continued to be successful. The state has only spent $4.7 million total so far, the governor's office stated. New York teamed up with IBM to launch the app in March.

 

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