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Many eyes on digital ID credentials for travel. Now about the standards…

Many eyes on digital ID credentials for travel. Now about the standards…

Digital identity programs are being mulled or rolled out internationally for air travel. It is good news in terms of long-term security and efficiency, but it might be a bit much in the short run for travelers trying to keep up with what they need to carry.

The International Air Transportation Association is recruiting industry insiders to people its One ID digital identity working group.

In One ID, association members want to arrive at an end-to-end travel process that is paperless, not mostly so, shares the minimum data needed and that gives control over personal information to passengers themselves.

Beyond the obvious credentials required and shared for more efficient travel, the initiative will include health certificates and biometric information. From the curb to the boarding gate should be a walk interrupted only by stops at shops, not multiple podium hurdles, IATA believes.

The working group will endorse promising standards for making these aims reality. It will have to work with all other relevant groups to eliminate process conflicts and duplication.

One of those standards will have to be an efficient way to get governments on board with One ID, which, among other things, means either creating or sanctioning secure digital IDs, according to reporting by ComputerWeekly.

The United States is one nation that will have to work on such standards. The state governments are still not yet compliant with the Real ID program. Under Real ID, each state must issue a driving license that has certain, standard data points in order to make domestic air fliers and visitors to some federal facilities more secure and efficient.

The object is to minimize the time it takes an official to validate a physical ID. The much-delayed deadline to issuing the cards is May 3, 2023.

Meanwhile, Jamaica plans to adopt the Digital Travel Declaration service from travel technology vendor SITA.

Using the service, those traveling to the Caribbean nation can group digital customs, immigration and health documents for submission when they step foot on Jamaican soil.

The service verifies a customers’ information and assesses a risk level to them individually. If the declaration service gives a would-be visitor to Jamaica a green light, there will be no surprise ID-related holdups upon landing, according to SITA.

And in Toronto, a small test of a Canada Border Services Agency ID-authentication chain-of-trust program. The program is designed to automate collection and verification of digital traveler data and minimizing the touch points needed to cross the border.

The pilot, according to industry vendor Entrust that worked on the program, is one of the few such efforts to follow electronic passport technical standards.

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority, Air Canada, Factor Safe, Face4 Systems also participated in the pilot.

Test subjects – specially chosen Air Canada flight crews — pulled their electronic passport data onto mobile devices to create a digital profile (including a selfie), which was stored on the devices. The data was shared with the border agency, which monitored their arrival status and processed them with a mobile app.

Lessons learned will be incorporated in future changes to border management.

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