Yesterday ID2020 launched the Good Health Pass Collaborative to encourage interoperability between the COVID-19 health credentialing solutions being developed by numerous organizations.
Members of the new initiative include the Airports Council International (ACI), Hyperledger, COVID-19 Credentials Initiative, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Mastercard and numerous others (full list below).
Paper vaccine certificates can be easily forged. The purpose of health credentials is to securely prove that a person has received a vaccine or PCR test. The new alliance is particularly targeting travel to ensure credentials work cross-border, cross-industry and are frictionless. It has published a white paper on the topic.
“Fragmentation is a risk we simply cannot ignore,” said ID2020 Executive Director Dakota Gruener. “To be valuable to users, credentials need to be accepted at check-in, upon arrival by border control agencies, and more.”
“We can get there — even with multiple systems — as long as solutions adhere to open standards and participate in a common governance framework. But without these, fragmentation is inevitable, and travelers — and the economy — will continue to suffer needlessly as a result.
For fans of broader use of self-sovereign identity, getting this right for COVID-19 health credentials may be a blueprint for future credential interoperability for other applications.
Many members already collaborate
While the list of members is impressive, several of them already have existing relationships, although this initiative creates a focus on interoperability.
Self-sovereign identity firm Evernym initiated the Trust over IP Foundation, where IBM and Mastercard are members, and IBM is a long-standing client. Evernym was also a founding member of the Covid Credentials Initiative, now hosted by the Linux Foundation, and its open-source Sovrin protocol is Hyperledger Indy. Existing relationships do not in any way detract from the fact that interoperability is a must.
Evernym has also worked with airline body IATA on its Travel Pass solution. IATA has agreements with a handful of airlines that plan to trial its solution, including Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, Qatar and Etihad Airways.
However, the first such solution already in use by Emirates is from GE Aviation, which does not appear to be a member.
Another missing collaborator is the Vaccination Credential initiative. The latter was created in January and its founders are primarily from medical rather than technology backgrounds. That said, Microsoft and Salesforce are members. They comply with W3C credential standards, and when Ledger Insights asked why yet another organization was needed, they highlighted the need for interoperability, saying their approach is open, transparent and collaborative.
When collaborations such as Good Health Pass launch, there are invariably late joiners.
The ID2020 Alliance
Meanwhile, the ID2020 Alliance is focused on privacy and is backed by big names such as Accenture, Microsoft, the Rockefeller Foundation and Mastercard as well non profits including Mercy Corps, Kiva and Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance.
Conspiracy theorists associated ID2020 with one of the COVID-19 theories related to Bill Gates. The anti-vaccine movement has woven a story that nanoparticles or microchips could be injected into people as a Coronavirus vaccination that becomes a global surveillance scheme. While the conspiracy theory has been debunked, a Yahoo / YouGov poll found that 28% of U.S. adults believed the story and a further 32% are not sure.
Good Health Pass Collaborative members: Affinidi, Airport Council International (ACI), Airside, analizA, (ICC) AOKpass, Bindle Systems, BLOK Solutions, CLEAR, The Commons Project Foundation, Covid Credential Initiative (CCI), Daon, Everynym, Global Privacy & Security by Design Centre, Grameen Foundation, Hyperledger, IBM, idRamp, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), iProov, Linux Foundation Public Health, Lumedic, Mastercard, MIT SafePaths, National Aviation Services (NAS), Panta, PathCheck Foundation, Prescryptive Health, SITA, STChealth, Trust Over IP Foundation, ZAKA.