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The latest news headlines on issues and developments affecting the internal audit profession.

Dec. 30, 2020

Mandatory Use of "Vaccine Passports" for Travel in 2021 on the Horizon

As individuals and businesses alike prepare for a return for post-pandemic life, it is becoming clear that the transition will not happen overnight. For example, according to CNN Business, several companies and technology groups have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their COVID-19 tests and vaccinations that could be shown — a "vaccine passport" — to enter concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries. Of particular interest for the business community is the use of such documentation to travel. Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and hundreds of health systems across the U.S. and Aruba have partnered with the Common Trust Network, an initiative by The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum, to create an app that allows users to upload medical data that can be shown to authorities without revealing sensitive information. The app would also list health pass requirements at the points of departure and arrival based on the flyer's itinerary. In addition to the questions such actions cause with regard to privacy and transparency, there are also a variety of additional variables to consider such as the type of vaccine administered (Pfizer, Moderna, a Russian vaccine, a Chinese vaccine, etc.), as each has different efficacy rates. 

Tensions With China Are Spurring Growth of India's Cybersecurity Capabilities

Geopolitical tensions and a dramatic rise in offensive and defensive cyber capabilities are leading India to join Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea as a top nation-state actor, according to the Dark Reading newsletter. It said India's capabilities are growing at least partially in reaction to activities in China. Diplomatic relations between the two nations are at a low point, and India has banned more than 200 Chinese apps, citing security concerns. At the same time, high unemployment in India as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a large population of technically skilled people in need of income, leading to an increase in cybercrime.

Report: Pandemic's Impact Will Make China World's Largest Economy by 2028

China will overtake the U.S. to become the world's largest economy by 2028, five years earlier than previously forecast, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a U.K.-based think tank, said one of the impacts of the pandemic has been to "redistribute economic momentum with Asia doing the best and Europe worst." The report said the Chinese government's vigorous reaction to the crisis resulted in less damage to the country's economy compared with others, and said China is forecast to post a 2% growth rate in 2020.

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