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Good Health Pass Collaborative offers Australia advice, pitches principles

 

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The Good Health Pass Collaborative has offered assistance to Australia as it carries out deliberations into the use of digital health passes, likely including biometric authentication, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The offer is delivered in response to the country’s announcement that it does not have further plans to reopen its borders at this time than the newly-created “travel bubble” with New Zealand.

“Digital health passes could offer a powerful new tool for public health and would complement the progress that Australia has already made in the field of digital identity,” writes ID2020 Executive Director Dakota Gruener. “But they can also be dangerous absent the appropriate regulatory guardrails. Clear guidance on standards, and appropriate data privacy regulations will be necessary to ensure that digital health passes are designed and implemented in ways that best serve the needs of the individuals and institutions that will rely on them while simultaneously protecting privacy, civil liberties, and equity.”

The letter urges Australia to adopt the principles endorsed by the Good Health Pass Collaborative, convene a high-level advisory panel bringing together representatives from stakeholder industries and civil society organizations, and to issue preliminary guidance on appropriate use cases for digital health passes, to be revisited and adjusted over time.

The Collaborative intends to release both the Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint, and its Governance Framework Recommendations to help guide policy-makers and implementing agencies around the world, in June.

The collaborative was launched in February to bring the notion of “good” digital ID espoused by ID2020 and other stakeholders to health passes and ensure whatever solutions are adopted are interoperable and rights-preserving.

Gruener told Biometric Update in an interview that if digital health pass requirements are confined to a specific vertical like travel, that may help alleviate some concerns around the credential’s potential for discrimination and other harms.

Iris ID Vice President of Global Development and Sales Mohammed Murad notes in a recent Biometric Update guest post that an executive of Star Alliance recently called on an international organization such as the G7, which Australia is not a member of, to set standards for vaccine passports.

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