Canada to pilot Known Traveler Digital Identity prototype
The Government of Canada has announced it will launch a pilot for the new Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and partners.
The Known Traveler Digital Identity prototype was launched at the 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, and developed in partnership with Accenture. It features biometric, cryptographic, and distributed ledger technology to provide travelers with control over their information, while improving risk and threat detection.
The Canadian government will design a proof of concept pilot for travel between Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to explore the potential for digital identity systems to encourage trust and cooperation between international partners, according to the announcement.
“With travelers providing access to verified personal biometric, biographic and historical travel data at their discretion, they can assist authorities to undertake risk assessments and pre-screening in advance: essentially verifying their identities and providing secure and seamless movement throughout their journey using biometric recognition technology” says John Moavenzadeh, Head of Mobility System Initiative at the World Economic Forum. “Not only does this provide for greater personalization and passenger-centricity in the design of services, but the passenger becomes a central actor in ensuring public safety”.
The Known Traveler Digital Identity prototype is the first part of an ambitious plan to transform the experience of crossing an international border for the majority of travelers, with international air travel expected to rise 50 percent to 1.8 billion passengers in 2030.
A report (PDF) published by the World Economic Forum and Accenture says that infrastructure, human resource, and procedural constraints will need to be addressed to deal with the increase, and deployment of emerging technologies will be required. The report considers the relative uses and strengths of fingerprint, face, iris, voice, vascular, and signature biometrics.
Travelers can enroll through the TruID app, and carry their Known Traveler Digital Identity with them on mobile devices, according to the report, to expedite the security screening process. Previously published research has clearly indicated a desire among travelers to use biometrics to improve their experiences in airports.
The many organizations participating in the World Economic Forum’s Security in Travel Project include the Airports Council International (ACI), Google, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), INTERPOL, NEC Corporation, the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security, and Visa.