American rolls out Daon health passport, digital ID from Evernym and IATA chosen by major airlines
American Airlines has introduced a biometric health passport to streamline travel requirements for all passengers travelling to the United States from international destinations.
The VeriFLY app was developed by Daon and selected by American late last year, and the airline says it will provide an easy way for all its customers travelling to the U.S. to confirm a negative COVID-19 test and satisfy other document requirements.
“We’re expanding our work with VeriFLY to quickly evolve our usage of the app and make international travel easier for our customers,” says Julie Rath, vice president of Customer Experience at American. “We support the implementation of a global program to require COVID-19 testing for travelers to the United States, and we want to do everything we can to make travel a seamless experience for customers. We’ve received positive feedback about the app so far and look forward to more customers having the opportunity to use it.”
The biometrically-secured app will be available for all travelers flying American to meet the government requirement for all passengers over 2 years of age to prove a negative test result within three days of departure starting January 23. Customers can already use the app for flights from Jamaica, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and it has been used by thousands of customers so far.
IATA-Evernym digital ID to reach major airlines in March
Similarly, the IATA Travel Pass digital health credential, which was developed in collaboration with Evernym and makes use of biometrics through the One ID architecture, is expected to roll out to major airlines in March, PhocusWire reports.
Travel Pass includes an app that travelers can use to store and manage COVID-19 test or vaccination records, rather than storing them in a centralized database.
IATA Head of Airport, Passenger and Security Products Alan Murray Hayden says the time necessary to verify tests and proliferation of fake tests are posing challenges to the air travel industry.
One large UK airline is reported to need all of its check-in agents to process only 5 to 10 percent as many passengers.
New coalition launches for vaccination digital ID as government mull options
Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, The Commons Project and the Mayo Clinic are among participants in a new Vaccination Credential Initiative, which aims to develop technology for people to store encrypted digital copies of immunization credentials in their choice of digital wallet, writes CNBC.
For those without a smartphone, a piece of paper printed with a QR code could serve the same purpose. There is no need indication yet provided of how the identity of the credential-holder would be verified.
The coalition anticipates the governments, airlines and other organizations will soon begin demanding proof of vaccination, likely through digital ID.
Canada is not planning to do so at this point, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, as MSN reports.
Trudeau cited the divisiveness of the idea, as well as people who will not be vaccinated for reasons other than personal or political choice, as reasons for the position.
Denmark has already announced intentions to develop a digital ID-based vaccine passport, however.
In India, the government’s decision to issue a unique health identity (UHID) for those verifying their identity with Aadhaar is drawing criticism for contradicting other government guidance, The Times of India writes.
The publication quotes a government web portal on registering health care workers for vaccination, which reminds officials to “never take Aadhaar details into the excel sheet.”
Karnataka Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey reiterated that the UHID is optional, and needed to facilitate the movement between states of people seeking treatment. The President of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association reported surprise that the government was generating UHIDs during the vaccination drive.
Kenya has launched an online system to authenticate COVID-19 certificates and verify the identity of their holders, which according to Techweez is required for travelers to leave the country. The certificates are verified using the Trusted Traveller process, and labs must issue TT codes with all COVID-19 certificates.
The digital service is being supported by the UNDP, African Union bodies, technology and telecom companies and standards organizations, Kenya’s Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe stated. The Trusted Travel is a joint initiative between the AU and Africa CDC.
Global e-dentity asymptomatic detection biometrics patented
Global e-dentity has patented a method for biometric authentication and health monitoring in real-time through non-invasive subdermal scanning with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The technology can be used for early detection of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, the company says, which warns users of the need for a medical-grade OCR/NAT test for official confirmation of COVID-19 infection.
The method, which makes use of both a near infrared transducer and a customized capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer, was first unveiled by the company as a possible means of detecting the novel coronavirus in mid-2020.
“This new patent is a serious game-changer as the world now understands the emergence of both Identity and health multi-modal biometrics as one,” says Global e·dentity Founder Dr. Robert Adams. “Countries that implement our biometric identification scanning technology will gain a competitive advantage in being able to open their economies while easily identifying travelers infected with Covid-19 or other health issues during the next pandemic. Ours is the first patent in the U.S. to fully identify, with a near hundred percent accuracy, those with biometric markers of COVID-19 or SARS who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic.”
The patent is the fourth for Global e-dentity, which was granted its third for its non-invasive health scanning last year.