As the whole world travels further into these COVID-ridden times, almost every industry is working on developments and innovative ideas that they can bring to life in order to survive with these new living conditions. Experts are now predicting that as travel restrictions lift, some kind of digital health pass system will have to be set up to control the spread of the Coronavirus.
TrustNet Pakistan, our country’s one and only digital trust foundation, is now working on a digital vaccination verification solution along with many other global tech companies on a platform called CovidCreds.
CovidCreds is a COVID-19 credentials initiative that supports, “projects that use privacy-preserving Verifiable Credentials (VCs) in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and strengthen our societies and economies.” Omar Shafiq, the Founder and Executive Director of TrustNet PK says that this initiative is being taken right now to develop a system for a, “post-COVID world where a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has arrived and is available for the masses around the world.”
Mr Shafiq remarked that countries have started to go back towards normal life to regain economic strength. Soon, people will want to travel for work and borders will require verification as to whether it is safe for every individual to travel abroad from Pakistan. “The TrustNet COVID-19 open-source initiative is working on that very solution called Vaccify.”
This system, when deployed, will not only make the process of travelling abroad safer and easier but will also help people in returning to normal life. “Organizations can start functioning to a certain level, and logistics and transportation can be restored to some extent.”
The system is expected to work through an application on the user’s phone. People can go to an accredited hospital, get tested, and receive their verification digitally on the app. The approach is blockchain-based and Vaccify’s certificates will be decentralised and tamper-proof. Because of this, the certificate will be trusted both nationally and internationally.
This verification system, when established, expects to work as digital, cryptographic proof that the user has been vaccinated. It can be used when booking air travel tickets; it can be used for various job applications; it can also be used to enter specific buildings and go to specific places.
“With a quick touchless scan of a QR code either online or face to face, a person can prove that he or she is virus-free or has been vaccinated,” says Mr Shafiq. He has explained that the solution is in its development phase and an Alpha-release can be expected by the end of August 2020.