ID2020 is launching a new Global Health Pass Collaborative in an effort to reinvigorate the travel industry in the wake of COVID-19. To that end, the members of the Collaborative will work together to establish guidelines for digital health screening systems, and to make sure that those systems are as interoperable as possible.
The Collaborative is being billed as a cross-sector initiative, and already has the support of dozens of trade organizations and private companies representing several different industries. The full list includes digital identity specialists like iProov and Daon, as well as tech and financial giants like Mastercard and IBM. It also includes companies that provide airport screening services, such as SITA and CLEAR.
According to ID2020, the Collaborative is necessary because it is unlikely that any one health screening solution will be deployed universally. As a result, screening platforms need to be able to communicate with one another to make sure that people can still use their current credentials to travel to a region where another solution is more popular.
With that in mind, ID2020 lays out four key criteria that digital health platforms should achieve to facilitate safe travel. A good solution needs to be able to work at border checkpoints and comply with all local and international regulations, and must be developed with input from governments in collaboration with the travel, health, and technology sectors. The solution also needs to offer Privacy by Design, and minimize the amount of friction in the screening process.
“Delivering a global, interoperable health pass system can only happen if we come together in a way that meets the needs of everyone involved,” said Mastercard Cyber and Intelligence President Ajay Bhalla. “This Collaborative will be critical in helping to define how we connect the pieces that will bring travel back safely and jumpstart the world’s economic engine.”
“To be valuable to users, credentials need to be accepted at check-in, upon arrival by border control agencies, and more,” added ID2020 Executive Director Dakota Gruener. “We can get there as long as solutions adhere to open standards and participate in a common governance framework. But without these, fragmentation is inevitable, and travelers will continue to suffer needlessly as a result.”
As it stands, ID2020 estimates that airlines alone have lost $118.5 billion due to COVID-19, triggering a ripple effect that has cost the global economy more than $2 trillion. CLEAR’s Health Pass, Daon’s VeriFLY, and SITA’s Health Protect Suite are some of the digital screening platforms that have already hit the market.
February 11, 2021 – by Eric Weiss