Many have suggested that one way to ensure someone doesn’t have COVID-19 is with a so-called “health passport.” This app would have a person’s pertinent health information on their smartphone, which could be scanned, for example, before entering a plane, as one enters another country, etc. It could potentially prove that a person doesn’t have COVID-19, has already had it, etc. There are many advocates to having such a system (including the IATA), but perhaps just as many naysayers who have multiple concerns, not the least of which would be privacy related.
All that notwithstanding, the first “health passport” for a flight will be used in Europe this July. And now, the first product that will link personal health data to verified IDs in the U.S. is in the works by a company that’s well known in the aviation industry.
Most travelers will know CLEAR for its use in airports. Members pay $179 a year (although you can usually find it for less) and give CLEAR personal biometric data (fingerprints and iris and facial scans ) that’s linked to their ID. CLEAR members can skip security lines after a biometric scan (fingerprint scans are our right now, of course) confirms their identity.
Besides airports, CLEAR is sometimes used in concert venues, sporting events, etc. It’s good for any venue where you need to link personal information to an I.D.
In the case of COVID screening, CLEAR would actually be used for businesses. Here’s how they say their “Health Pass” system would work:
- A member verifies their identity with biometrics.
- They complete a real-time health quiz and upload their lab results/link to their test provider.
- You scan their QR code and can also check their temperature.
- Once a member verifies their health and identity with their face or QR code, you decide whether they enter your venue.
It’s been suggested that once we have a vaccine, adequate antibody tests, etc., we’ll get to the point of being able to link COVID-19 test results with a digital ID, that could be linked to a driver’s license, passport, etc. It’s pretty easy to see how this could potentially jump over to use in traveling.
Granted, there would be a LOT of hurdles to ensure there was privacy. Especially when personal info breaches seem to be the way of the world nowadays – just ask Marriott, Expedia, and any other large company that’s made international headlines. Plus we still don’t know for sure if someone who has had the virus can or cannot be reinfected with it. So there are still a lot of questions that would need to be addressed.
But the fact that CLEAR is out there with the start of something that could potentially work as a “health passport” in the U.S. is still pretty interesting.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary