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Role of biometrics in digital health passes considered as new solutions roll out


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A new digital health pass with vein biometrics is being launched by partners Global ID and International Health Consulting, while Unisys and Inspire Health Alliance have announced the launch of the U-Pass credential. A new white paper features the perspectives of Idemia, Thales and Veridos on the practical aspects of how health passes will work, and an Aware blog examines the likely biometric modalities to secure them.

New health passes launched with Global ID biometrics, Unisys technology

Global ID and International Health Consulting (IHC) have partnered on a vaccine certificate and digital medical record tool, each with vein biometrics integrated for high security, according to a company announcement.

IHC has already developed a smartphone-based ‘medical e-file’ along with partners Alethia and Travel Password, initially for international travel applications, but with public space access applications in mind as well.

Unisys has released its U-Pass digital health pass with biometric access control support, in collaboration with partner Inspire Health Alliance.

The COVID-19 testing and digital health management solution is intended to help public and private operations meet health and safety, funding, security, compliance, and scalability requirements.

Unisys Stealth(identity) can be deployed to kiosks as part of U-Pass solutions to provide biometric identity verification.

“In order to reopen as swiftly and safely as possible, there are a number of important considerations that must be made,” says Eric Hutto, president and chief operating officer, Unisys. “Together with Inspire, we are focused on maintaining the highest standards and compliance with regulatory agencies in order to ensure every business, facility or school receives the care and quality that are critical for reducing infectiousness in virtually any environment – giving your workers, students and customers a greater sense of security, safety and peace-of-mind.”

Inspire Health Alliance Managing Partner Ricardo A. Salas lauded Unisys’ ability to provide turnkey support throughout the process.

White paper considers practical challenges

A white paper on health status proof has been released as part of the Digital Document Security Online Event 2021, sponsored by Idemia, Thales and Veridos, says the digital health credentials could be the defining development in ID and secure documents for this year and the years ahead.

The 24-page ‘Vaccination Certificates and Immunity Passports’ white paper addresses how the credentials can be implemented for security, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

Progress towards the credentials will not be linear, due to new developments such as COVID-19 variants and vaccination program progress,

Veridos COO Marc-Julian Siewert suggests the necessary standards and infrastructure already exist, and holds up the company’s VeriGO TrueSeal as an approach to digital ID that minimizes data collection, leverages PKI, and can be used by all citizens.

Idemia Market Manager for National Identity and Healthcare Pavlina Navratilova writes that governments must play the role of trusted issuers for health certificates, and citizens must be sole holders of the credentials.

Thales Market Owner for Digital Identity Services Kristel Teyras argues for digital ID wallets as a future-proof investment that can meet the short-term needs of health passes.

Aware sees face or voice biometrics with liveness backing health passes

Biometrics could be the key technology for moving from the yellow booklet provided as an International Certificate of Vaccination to digital credentials that can secure people’s medical information, Aware writes in a blog post.

The company addresses the possibility that legacy credentials will simply not be trustworthy enough to allow the reopening of international borders, but with face and voice biometrics both typically available through mobile devices, biometric health passes can be used virtually anywhere. Another needed feature, Aware says, is liveness detection, in order to prevent fraud through presentation attacks.

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