The world is beginning to breathe freely after the quarantine step by step. Governments, one after the other, are loosening their restrictions on the society’s free movement. Now not only are we allowed to line up in the stores for buying the commodities needed for subsistence, but we can also return to our workplace, go to restaurants, meet our friends, and perhaps relax obviliously during our family vacations. However, before returning to our usual activities it would be useful to know our immunity status first.
It is not yet a proven fact, that those who recovered from the new coronavirus cannot catch this disease again. Countries, however, are thinking of issuing them a so-called immunity card to certify that they are already uninfected. Various solutions are coming out one after another.
In China we can already find an existing example of it, just as of many other things besides. We can read in a Mandiner summary that the conclusions drawn from the coronavirus pandemic were integrated with the existing electronic social score system, and the proven infected and healthy citizens are distinguished from one another by the nation through color codes. Of course, the different categories have different rights. In Chile, however, the patient can choose whether to request this card in case of proven recovery. In this country there are thousands of people recovered from the COVID-19, and they are entitled to have the document that will be introduced from May. This certificate will be issued in the form of physical and digital cards, and the holder will be granted an exemption from all valid restrictions.
The world is especially exploring digital alternatives. One option would be to make people eligible for an immunity card through a test type which shows antibodies for a given patient. With this end, a QR code would be assigned to the identity of that person; and, for instance, the ministry responsible for health can issue it timestamped and furnished with the necessary electronic certificates.
Ministers of tourism in the European Union are thinking in terms of a Covid pass valid in the whole EU and this document would only contain the information that the holder is uninfected at that time, and therefore, he/she could be allowed to travel into another member state to conduct a business trip, for example. USA, Italy and Germany are for the idea of pandemic passports. Minister of Health of the German Federal Government considers it necessary to issue a card that can be given to those who have got over the coronavirus. According to Jens Spahn, there are countries where entry would be subject to this, since it is impossible for the German citizens not to enter the countries concerned.
According to a Bitport article, in the United Kingdom, an indentification solution based on face recongnition technology capable of anywhere checking the immunity from infection is being tested. The British Government is already consulting technology suppliers on the possibilities of introducing health passports. Companies making proposals include the Onfido, Yoti, IDnow, OCL and iDenfy. According to The Guardian report, the Onfido has already come up with detailed plans which are in pilot phase in other countries too. The company would mix its face recognition technology with applications developed by other producers. On the part of the users, a selfie photo and a photo in the official document would be required. This development can compare the portrait photos, establish the identity and check the document’s originality, thus establishing a digital identity. Then it will be followed by a qualified coronavirus test as well as by another new selfie at the adequate places, and the system tells whether antibodies are detected in that person’s sample and the person is entitled to enter the given institution. After taking the photos, the application would generate QR codes which can simply be scanned at the reception in workplaces. Sensitive data would be stored by the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom.
In the British Isles, there are other companies who are also trying to help in the pandemic situation. Technologies of the Manchester-based VST Enterprises VCode and VPlatform will be intergrated into the Covid-pass to create ’the most secure digital health passport of the world’. The cooperation is planning to deploy this technology in 15 countries of the world. Their aim is to deliver 50 million digital health passports.
In the model state of e-government, in Estonia, there is a document certifying immunity which is also in test phase, and, based on a principle similar to the previous ones, it calls for temporary QR codes to help people to share the certificates of their health immunity status with, for example, their employers.
Our company, the ANY Security Printing Company, has many decades of experience in manufacturing the identification documents required by the domestic and international certifications. Our company has all the technological and professional backgrounds that are needed to manufacture contactless documents which contain biometric data and are capable of electronic functions and equipped with infalsifiable security features. A combined model of digital and physical certificates could even be a great solution to the pandemic problem that still raises a lot of questions.
However the further stage of the pandemic may develop, documents here or there, one thing we can be sure of is that the world will no longer be the same as it was before the spread of the COVID19…