IATA to launch digital travel pass for contactless ID and vaccination verification

IATA digital travel pass on smartphone for contactless NFC ID
VERIFICATION: IATA’s Travel Pass app enables travellers to store ID documents and vaccination records on their phone

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is to roll out a digital travel pass that will enable passengers to store verified identity documents such as their e-passport and verified Covid-19 test results or inoculation records on their iPhone or Android device.

“IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app to help travellers easily and securely manage their travel in line with any government requirements for Covid-19 testing or vaccine information,” the association explains. It adds that it “will also unlock the potential for convenient contactless travel processes from check-in to boarding”.

To use the service, passengers will be able to download the IATA Travel pass to their smartphone, add a selfie and complete a ‘liveness’ test and scan data from their passport with their NFC device.

“The IATA Travel Pass then matches the photo with the passport data (which contains a digital biometric photo of the passport holder) to verify that 1) the passport belongs to the person in front of the phone and 2) that the passport is genuine and has not been tampered with,” IATA says.

“The verified digital travel credential is then stored on the passenger’s phone and can be used as their ‘digital passport/ID’.”

The pass will also support World Health Organization (WHO) digital standards for documents such as the International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis once these have been finalised.

The Travel Pass is scheduled for release early in the first quarter of 2021 and will use Apple’s Secure Enclave feature on iPhones and “a similar security encryption technology” on Android devices.

“The traveller controls what information is shared from their phone with airlines and authorities. No central database or data repository is storing the information,” IATA adds.

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