Governments weigh use of biometric vaccine certificates; Vision-Box, iProov and Evernym positioned
Countries around the world continue to consider their options for safely reopening businesses and borders, which means thinking through whether to adopt biometric vaccination certificates.
Airside Mobile’s Health Passport App, which uses a biometrics platform from partner Vision-Box, seeks to apply the same principles already adopted for air travel apps, like user control, to vaccination certification, Forbes writes.
The Mobile Passport app from Airside Mobile has already been approved and used in the U.S., so approval for health status proofing may not be that much of a stretch.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said a common vaccination certificate should be developed by the EU. The national pandemic strategy for America recently unveiled by the White House refers to assessing the feasibility of digital vaccination certificates.
NBC Bay Area notes that vaccination will not necessarily guarantee immunity, and that even with immunity, people are still likely to be nervous about incurring risk by removing masks in airplanes.
‘Green Pass’ holders in Israel have begun enjoying new freedoms, AP News reports, but in other countries without sufficient vaccine supply for everyone there is concern that fundamental rights to equity and non-discrimination will be trampled by such measures.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has noted the importance of not discriminating against people who cannot take the vaccine, but as The National points out, has also appointed Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove to look into implementing a vaccine certificate.
The UK government has been in talks with iProov on an adaptation of the NHS COVID-19 app with biometric authentication.
As iProov CEO Andrew Bud points out, discrimination is not the only concern with the implementation of vaccine credentials.
“I think there is huge potential for not working well together,” he says.
The biggest challenges, according to Bud, are not technical, but rather “are principally ethical, social, political and legal. How to balance the fundamental rights of citizens … with the benefits to society.”
Vision-Box CEO Miguel Leitmann notes that a vaccination credential may be necessary for future outbreaks as well.
More trials of IATA app planned by aviation industry
IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac says that with expected aviation industry losses of $75 billion to $95 billion this year, and positive cash flow not expected until 2022, planning for the future is a matter of survival. He was speaking during a media update by the organization.
The organization’s Travel Pass, co-developed with Evernym, has been selected for trials by more airlines over the past few weeks, he says, and while the market provides choice for different applications, “there should be no compromise on the fundamentals.”
Chinese State publication Global Times reports Chinese airlines and other stakeholders in the sector like information provider TravelSky Technology may adopt the IATA Travel Pass.
Air New Zealand, Copa Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, RwandAir and Singapore Airlines have all conducted trials of the IATA app, or are planning them, according to the report.
Global standards for vaccination and testing records will be necessary, de Juniac says, and while organizations including the WHO, ICAO and OECD are working on those standards, “each day without them means the challenge gets bigger.”