To Succeed, Health Passports Must Prioritize Security, Privacy, and Ease

Yuka Yoneda
March 12, 2021

The post-COVID world we live in requires new and different technology to help us get back into the world doing the things we love to do safely. Digital health passports (sometimes called vaccine passports or COVID-19 immunity passports) are a new type of technology that does just that. 

What are digital health passports?

Digital health passports are apps that consumers can download and use to present proof of vaccination status or COVID-19 negative test status in order to access air travel, sporting events, office buildings, concert venues, restaurants, and other events and locations. Check out our explainer below to see how it works.

Health passports seem like a no-brainer and a smart way to resume some of the activities we love. Speaking with CNBC, Mike Tansey, who leads Accenture’s APAC travel and hospitality division and has been working with some major airlines on their digital health pass strategies, said that such strategies have “accelerated” since the vaccine rollout and the need for such passes is clear.

When asked whether we need digital health passes to resume travel, Tansey said, “The obvious answer is yes, we do.”

Support and innovation around digital health passports have been booming, with organizations such as CLEAR, The Commons Project, and Good Health Pass developing new digital health pass apps. However, in order for health passports to work properly, there are two challenges that must be addressed.

To be successful, digital health passports must prioritize:

  1. Data Privacy & Security

Just as with any system that processes or retrieves Protected Health Information (PHI), the highest data privacy standards must be in place for people to feel comfortable using it. Stringent security must also ensure that PHI does not fall into the wrong hands. For this to happen, ID proofing of the consumer must occur at the time they enroll with the health passport, and multi-factor authentication or another form of identity authentication is needed on an ongoing basis to ensure a safe connection. 

  1. Interoperability and Ease of Use

People’s health records tend to be scattered across multiple health systems, from doctor’s offices to hospital records, to insurance plans. In order for health passports to work and be scalable, they need to securely and seamlessly retrieve PHI (lab results, vaccination records, etc.) from certified sources and be easily managed and shared with airlines, event venues, restaurants, offices, schools, and more. 

To see adoption, health passports must also be “seamless,” meaning they need to allow consumers to access their data from certified sources without the consumer having to remember usernames and passwords for various provider, lab, and health system portals. The entire experience must be as easy and frictionless as possible for mass adoption to take place.

As more digital health passport initiatives begin to pop up, consumers will compare and contrast them using the criteria above. The health passports that invest in technology that strengthens and differentiates them in these areas will see more adoption simply because consumers want apps that are easy-to-use, secure, and private.

How Phone-Centric Identity™ Helps Make Health Passports Easier and More Secure

First, what is Phone-Centric Identity™? Phone-Centric Identity refers to technology that leverages and analyzes mobile, telecom, and other signals for the purposes of identity verification, identity authentication, and fraud prevention. Phone-Centric Identity relies on billions of signals from authoritative sources pulled in real time, making it a powerful proxy for digital identity and trust. If you think about how many people have mobile phones, how long they have had them, and how often they use them, it’s clear why Phone-Centric Identity signals are highly correlated with identity and trustworthiness.

Some of the top digital health passport initiatives leverage Phone-Centric Identity providers such as Prove to address security, privacy, interoperability, and ease-of-use. Here’s a short explainer on how Phone-Centric Identity technology can make health passports easier and more secure:

Our post-COVID world requires new and different technology to help us get back into the world doing the things we love to do safely.

Meet Maya. Maya is all eager to get back to dining at restaurants, attending sporting events, visiting friends and family, traveling, and going back into the office. But how can she do these things safely, privately and easily?

Health passports are a new way for us to safely share our health information and prove our testing and vaccination statuses in a private and secure manner. Prove’s Phone Identity Network™ makes it much easier to enroll with health passports, allowing you to sign up securely within seconds.
How does it work? Maya can simply download a health passport app, and if the health passport app uses Prove’s Phone Identity Network, Maya can bypass time-consuming steps like ID-scanning and selfie uploads while still maintaining the same level of security and privacy. 

Prove’s Phone Identity Network enables health passports to leverage Phone-Centric Identity signals, which reach out to bank-grade authoritative sources such as banks and mobile operators in real-time to verify Maya’s identity in a private, tokenized manner.
Maya can opt to make her experience even faster and easier by choosing to auto-fill her information with Prove Pre-fill™.

Prove’s Phone Identity Network also facilitates healthcare data interoperability, ensuring Maya’s PHI is secure and cannot be used by someone else while giving Maya the option to share it between trusted, authoritative parties.

Now Maya can access and share her health records, link them up to event tickets, reservations, and build access cards using her health passport.

Interested in learning more about how Prove’s Phone Identity Network can improve your digital health passport initiative? Get in touch with us below!

Keep reading

See all blogs
Prove’s Tim Brown Explains How to Reduce Fraud and Improve Onboarding with Identity Verification

Reporters from GreenSheet, a popular publication that highlights trends in the banking, financial services, and fintech markets, recently met with Prove’s Global Identity Officer, Tim Brown to learn how advanced identity verification solutions are driving faster and better digital customer onboarding.

Kaushal Ls
May 21, 2024
Prove CEO Rodger Desai Featured on Fintech Leaders Podcast

Prove CEO and co-founder Rodger Desai was recently the featured guest on the Fintech Leaders podcast with fintech leader and entrepreneur Miguel Armaza. The two discussed the identity verification market, innovations in onboarding and customer enablement, and explained how smartphone data provides the most effective way to verify customers.

Kelley Vallone
May 16, 2024
Marketplace Risk Proudly Names Prove as the Leader in Identity Authentication

Marketplace Risk, a leading authority in risk management for online platforms, has announced the recipients of its annual Solution Provider Excellence Program. This prestigious initiative spotlights industry leaders in risk, trust, and safety solutions, showcasing their expertise in addressing the challenges encountered by digital marketplaces, gig economy, and digital platforms. Among the winners is Prove.

May 15, 2024