Good Health Pass: A New Cross-Sector Initiative to Restore Global Travel and Restart the Global Economy
Today, ID2020 announced the launch of the Good Health Pass Collaborative along with more than 25 leading individual companies and organizations in the technology, health, and travel sectors — including the Airports Council International (ACI), Commons Project Foundation, COVID-19 Credentials Initiative, Evernym, Hyperledger, IBM, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Linux Foundation Public Health, Lumedic, Mastercard, Trust Over IP Foundation, and others.
The Good Health Pass Collaborative is an open, inclusive, cross-sector initiative to create a blueprint for interoperable digital health pass systems that will help restore global travel and restart the global economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every segment of the global economy, but none as profoundly as travel and tourism. Last year, airlines lost an estimated $118.5 billion USD with related impacts across the economy in excess of $2 trillion USD.
In conjunction with the announcement, the Collaborative also released its first white paper, entitled, Good Health Pass: A Safe Path to Global Reopening.
Collaboration Among a New Ecosystem of Players
“There’s one thing the world agrees on — we need to address the health concerns today to support a return to normalcy,” said Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “Delivering a global, interoperable health pass system can only happen if we come together in a way that meets the needs of everyone involved. This Collaborative will be critical in helping to define how we connect the pieces that will bring travel back safely, spark job creation and jumpstart the world’s economic engine.”
Various efforts are currently underway to develop digital health credentials systems — both vaccination and test certificates — for international travel. Yet, despite this race to market, it is unlikely that a single solution will be implemented universally — or even across the entire travel industry. Thus, it is critical that solutions are designed from the onset to be interoperable — both with one another and across institutional and geographic borders.
The Good Health Pass Collaborative is not intended to supplant existing efforts but rather to help weave them together, fill gaps where they may exist, and facilitate collaboration among a new ecosystem of stakeholders, many of whom have never worked together before.
“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.”
Global Travel & Digital Health Credentials
COVID-19 test results are already required for entry at some airports and at international borders. But existing paper-based certificates are easy to lose, unnecessarily expose sensitive personal information, and are prone to fraud and counterfeiting.
By contrast, digital health credentials can be printed (e.g., as a QR code) or stored on an individual’s mobile phone. They enhance user privacy and “bind” an individual’s identity to their test result or vaccination certificate, thus enabling real-time, fraud-resistant digital verification.
“Our health data consists of the most sensitive personal information, deserving of the strongest privacy,” said Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director of the Global Privacy & Security By Design Centre. “Release of our health data must be under our personal control. The Good Health Pass does just that: With Privacy by Design embedded throughout, you control the release of your digital health data, and to whom; all de-identified and decentralized. Privacy and functionality: Win/Win!”
The World Health Organization recently convened the Smart Vaccination Certificate Consortium to establish standards for vaccination certificates, but no analogous effort currently exists for test certificates. Given that it is expected to take years for vaccines to be universally available globally, widespread testing will remain an essential public health tool — and one that must continue alongside vaccination to ensure a safe and equitable return to public life.
The Good Health Pass Collaborative has defined four primary requirements that digital health credential systems for international travel must satisfy:
- Cross-border: Solutions must work at airports, airlines, ports-of-call, and borders worldwide and comply with international and local regulations.
- Cross-industry: Solutions will require the collaboration of the travel, health, governments, and technology sectors.
- Secure & privacy-protecting: Solutions will require the collaboration of the travel, health, governments, and technology sectors. Solutions must comply with all relevant security, privacy, and data protection regulations and must be able to bind the presenter of the credential to the credential itself at the required level of assurance.
- Frictionless: Solutions must seamlessly integrate into testing and travel processes, thus enhancing and streamlining the experience for individuals and airlines alike. Solutions must not add new material costs for travelers. Optimally, validation processes will be contactless to maintain or enhance hygiene.
The Collaborative welcomes the participation of policymakers and representatives of government agencies; companies in the health, technology, and travel sectors; and civil society organizations who share a commitment to safely restoring international travel and economic activity while simultaneously ensuring that equity, privacy, and other civil liberties are protected.
If you are interested in learning more, please visit the Good Health Pass website at goodhealthpass.org.
- Airport Council International (ACI)
- Bindle Systems
- BLOK Solutions
- The Commons Project Foundation
- Covid Credential Initiative (CCI)
- Global Privacy & Security by Design Centre
- Grameen Foundation
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- Linux Foundation Public Health
- MIT SafePaths
- National Aviation Services (NAS)
- PathCheck Foundation
- Prescryptive Health
- Trust Over IP Foundation