States and companies that develop it and the technology used. Everything you need to know about vaccine passports
The big challenge now is how to create a global digital passport system that allows for coordination between countries and the providers and developers of these passports.
At the end of last year and the beginning of the current world, the world began to vaccinate its citizens and residents with vaccines against Coved-19, and everyone is optimistic that this summer could see better travel and movement around the world than last year, especially as talk of providing vaccine recipients with a digital vaccination passport will help them move around the world.
But what is the possibility of digital vaccination? And how can i get it? Will it really help bring travel around the world back to normal?
What are the barriers to its application? And what countries did you start with? And most importantly the technical companies that will develop it? Is there a role for governments?
All these questions come to the reader’s mind to answer them, let’s ask them one question after another:
What is the digital vaccine passport?
Digital vaccine passports generally consist of two parts: a digital record in which a person has obtained the vaccine, and an application that has access to this record to confirm that a person has met the requirements for visiting a particular place or attending an event.
For the system to operate on a large scale, those who design vaccine passports need a way to access records from a variety of service providers and form partnerships with places willing to trust their applications.
However, states and companies developing this digital passport face the problem of coordinating, linking and documenting this information, with some believing that a globally coordinated vaccine passport system can help us return to what looks like normal life and accelerate economic recovery. But that seems unlikely.
What are the obstacles to the digital vaccine passport?
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week that « there will be no global central database for federal vaccinations, and there will be no federal mandate requiring everyone to have a single certification for vaccination, » instead the Biden administration has decided to leave it to the states and the private sector to coordinate, with the federal government putting in place some basic guidelines.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron de Santis has pledged at least to ban companies and places in his state from using any vaccine passport system.
This disparity at the level of the United States itself will inevitably be reflected globally, as the U.S. government has left it to states and private companies.
The big challenge now is how to create a global digital passport system that allows for coordination between states and the providers and developers of such passports so that there is no manipulation, fraud, loss and data breach.
What companies and techniques are used?
A growing number of companies, health care providers and state governments are launching their own efforts. Just last week, New York issued its first state-supported vaccine passport called Excelsior Pass.
This digital health certificate, created by IBM using blockchain technology, allows people in the state who have been vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine to download their health records to a smartphone app that displays the QR code, which can be scanned to check their status when they go to certain places.
At the same time, companies including Walmart and Clear Airport Security are racing to build their own digital vaccination databases.
Some already issue vaccine passports such as CommonPass, an application from the World Economic Forum that is being piloted by a number of airlines.
Carbon Health, which has partnered with the city of Los Angeles to launch vaccination, also offers a vaccine passport that complies with the Health Responsibility Act (HIPAA), called Health Pass.
The EU certificate, which avoids the use of the term « passport », will create a common digital system for Europe, most likely in the form of a smartphone app, to prove vaccination, passive testing or recovery from the virus.
Apple and Google have previously collaborated to set standards for tracking contacts in smartphones. The European Union has suggested that technology giants may again cooperate in these efforts with who, but the latter has denied this.
Now that the pace of vaccine launches has accelerated, the prospect of obtaining digital passports or certificates has caught the attention of many different industries.
The aviation and tourism industries, which have been heavily affected over the past year, have been the most eager to pursue this technology to reopen global travel.
That’s why iATA introduced the « travel card » late last year, launched an experiment with Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways announced its use of the IATA passport as well as its flights to Istanbul.
The app was initially created to show the results of tests for the Coronavirus, and the app will be expanded to show evidence of vaccination as well, according to Katherine Kaczynska, assistant director of corporate communications at the World Aviation Organization.
Kaczynski added that the IATA does not support the imposition of vaccines for travel, but that parties in the travel and tourism industry see the application as the only way to help open up international travel.
Given the sensitive health data running, the launch of any digital service raises questions about privacy and data protection.
The Aviation Organization is working with Evernym, a blockchain technology development company, on several decentralized digital identities projects, including a project with the Red Cross.
According to the European Commission, the eu’s executive arm, its proposed system will only require « background information ». This includes a vaccine or test data and a unique certification id( code).