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ICAO pilots travelers’ digital ID verification upgrades with PKD support

ICAO pilots travelers’ digital ID verification upgrades with PKD support

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has unveiled a new pilot project to authenticate travelers’ electronic and digital IDs. The initiative will run for a limited time, enabling ICAO’s private sector partners to access data in the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD).

At the time of writing, fourteen companies are taking part in the pilot project, exploring novel products and services that leverage existing PKD data for the potential benefit of governments and the aviation industry in general.

These include solutions designed to authenticate digital IDs used for travel and related health documents with more secure, seamless processes.

From a technical standpoint, PKD data is behind the international system of asymmetric cryptography employed by States to secure documents such as electronic passports.

“The ICAO PKD has always been a valuable tool for countries to enhance border security and facilitate travel,” writes ICAO Secretary General, Juan Carlos Salazar.

“By allowing the private sector stakeholders to make use of PKD data, in support of the development of new value-added tools and solutions, ICAO is hoping to help accelerate related innovation and deliver numerous win-win benefits for both governments and passengers.”

PKD data does not include any personal information about either travel document- or digital health pass-holders.

The news of the PKD-focused pilot comes weeks after ICAO published a master list for authenticating digital health passes.

More recently, the relative public obscurity of the organization’s role in international travel contributed to confusion in relation to the adoption and approval of Ghana’s new national biometric ID card.

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