Digital travel credential one step closer with ICAO implementation model approval

Digital identity projects from UN and IOTA advance
Digital travel credential one step closer with ICAO implementation model approval

Specifications for the first digital travel credential (DTC) type have been endorsed by the ICAO Technical Advisory Group for the Traveller Identification Programme (TAG/TRIP), bringing digital identity-based travel one step closer to reality, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) Uniting Aviation.

A subgroup of the ICAO New Technologies Working Group (NTWG) has developed three different implementation types for DTCs, each based on the biometrics embedded in ICAO-compliant passports.

Type 1 DTC checks consist of a DTC ‘Virtual Component’ only, with the electronic Machine-Readable Travel Document (the eMRTD, or ePassport) as a physical authenticator. Data is extracted from the physical credential and stored in a digital container, such as on the smart phone. The physical document acts as a back-up credential.

Type 2 is made up of a DTC-VC and DTC ‘Physical Component’ in addition to the eMRTD, with data extracted from the issuer database and digitally signed by the issuing authority. A digital container is the primary backup, the physical document a secondary back-up. Type 3 implementations involve no eMRTD, but only the DTC.

ICAO warns the industry against blocking interoperability with proprietary global passenger facilitation schemes based on digital identity credentials.

UN launches Digital ID wallet with biometric security

A solution combining biometrics, blockchain and mobile technology developed for UN personnel by the UN Digital Solutions Center (UN DSC) has won a technology challenge, the agency announced.

UN DSC is a pilot project of the World Food Programme and UNHCR with operational support from UNICC, intended to create digital solutions to help UN agencies with common operational and transactional tasks.

The UN Digital ID is a digital wallet that agency personnel can use for data related to human resources, medical status, travel, payroll and pensions, which can also be used for onboarding new employees, leaving or retiring from the organization. It is intended to reduce data fragmentation while streamlining processes.

A video produced by the UN depicts the use of facial recognition to secure the wallet and ensure its privacy.

The project won the recent Reimagine the UN Together Challenge, and the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, a collaborator on UN Digital ID, is a finalist in the Gartner Eye on Innovation Awards for Government 2020, for its Digital Certificate of Entitlement solution, which is based on the same technology.

Distributed ID standard framework released, digital health passport open-sourced by IOTA

Distributed ledger and cryptocurrency network operator IOTA Foundation has released an alpha version of its own standard framework for digital identity for Rust and Javascript, according to a blog post.

IOTA Identity can help encourage the adoption of IOTA and decentralized identity (DID) or self-sovereign identity (SSI) with a zero-fee protocol for both payments and identification.

The announcement includes open sourcing the Selv app, a digital health passport co-developed with Dentons which allows verifiable credentials to be shared with websites or peer-to-peer through QR codes. The applications is just the first step in a planned identity wallet, and according to the post should provide enough functionality to use IOTA Identity in hackathon projects.

The Odyssey Hackathon, which is focussed on distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence, launched last week, and in 2019 nine different teams used IOTA for their Odyssey entries.

The IOTA foundation has also launched an IOTA Identity Experience Team (X-Team) to participate in the preparation of tools, libraries and documentation for the IOTA Identity framework.

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