6 requirements for successful vaccine passports in new report

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The UK’s Ada Lovelace Institute, author of several recent substantive reports on emerging biometric systems, has another, on COVID vaccine passports, that hammers home the need to earn the public’s trust.

Satisfied that the path forward for development of biometrics-based digital IDs is clear, the report’s authors have dispensed with advice, suggestions or recommendations.

Instead, they declare six requirements for vendors and governments who want to get vaccine passports in the field delivering societal benefits.

Five of the requirements directly address trust, including offering clear legal guidance and “clear, specific and delimited purpose.” The term “clear” gets a lot of use in the report.

A sixth discusses system design, and an argument can be made that that is a component of trust-building, too.

It is encouraging that the institute’s report calls out the “saving lives versus privacy” false choice. Digital health pass proponents too often hedge on it and opponents focus on it without offering deep understanding.

Financial support for this latest report, which is, indeed, substantive, came from the European AI Fund, which is described in the document as a collaborative initiative of the Network of European Foundations.

The Institute warned last year that the idea of public health identities needs significant examination before the effectiveness of any proposal can be determined, when charting its course for the new report.

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