Vaccination Credential Initiative, pass for vaccinated

Vaccination Credential Initiative, pass for vaccinated
Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle and other groups are about to create something that remotely resembles the Google / Apple Platform created at the time of Immuni, but in this case dedicated to the so-called “health passport”. What these companies would like to put together is a sort of digital certificate that allows them to guarantee their immunization by vaccine, so as to allow a reliable pass where it may be required for access or not to a place or a service.

The name is ready: Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), in the form of public-private collaboration with open standards and shared protocols. The topic will inevitably require strong technical insights, but at the same time it will require important reflection also from an ethical point of view. And the technical part may not necessarily be the most complex.

Vaccination Credential Initiative

The idea is to allow the filing of a digital certificate attesting the vaccination of the person, allowing the latter to have a pass where this pass may be required. In short, if air flights, national states or other entities require its possession for public health purposes, it will be possible to have the certificate with you in a verifiable, accessible, secure format.

Dal from a technical point of view, the project is based on the SMART Health Cards Framework, described here in a dedicated study:

The resultant for certification purposes will be the possibility of keeping a "card" in digital wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, as well as PDFs (or printable sheets) with a QR Code that can refer to the SMART Health Card linked to personal identity.

The VCI itself, despite having clear ideas about what needs to be implemented from a technical point of view, admits that the project can only work on the basis of " , verifiability and universal recognition of the digital trace and vaccination status ". The creation of the certificate, in fact, is a real enabling of freedom, thus having in itself a very high power.

The project, although valid purely theoretically, has one side obscure that certainly cannot be denied: Countries in which vaccines will arrive with greater delay could become the prison of those who, in the absence of vaccine and certificate, do not have the possibility to take a plane or enter a public office, participate in a lesson or find a job. Not that there are better solutions: the fight against the pandemic is also done through isolation and temporary restrictions of rights, but reflection is necessarily required in the light of a long-term program that can equip humanity with the necessary tools to cope (in addition to this) also to future pandemic waves.

Can a digital certificate based on an international standard be the panacea for such a far-reaching problem? Technoutopies often make it possible to achieve incredible goals, but along their path they go through phases dotted with dangerous drifts: this path is just beginning and, inevitably, it will have to overcome the obstacles of privacy, ethics and international agreements. Only after these examinations will technology be able to have its say.

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