Below is a copy of our February 2021 newsletter, The SSI Roundup. To get the best SSI headlines, events, and resources sent straight to your inbox each month, subscribe below:
The Self-Sovereign Identity Roundup: February 2021
Welcome back to The SSI Roundup, your source for news and resources on all things self-sovereign identity.
This month, we’re reflecting on a very busy start to the year, with major announcements from ID2020, Lumedic, and Crucible; an update on IATA Travel Pass; and prominent discussions on ensuring privacy in a post-COVID world.
Our top content picks from the past month
Few industries have been as affected by the current pandemic as the air travel industry. Passenger demand is down 70%, and the loss of tourism has created ripple effects across the global economy.
As a step toward reopening global travel, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a new ‘Travel Pass’ initiative that lets both passengers and airlines have confidence in the safety of air travel once again. The solution, which is built on verifiable credentials and Evernym technology, enables passengers to receive a digital COVID test result credential from a participating test lab, hold the credential from the security of a digital wallet app on their phone, and privately share these credentials with airlines, airports, border authorities, and other verifying parties for a safer travel experience.
Since its initial announcement in late November, IATA Travel Pass has continued to pick up momentum and attention from the mainstream media, including BBC, CNBC, and CNN. To date, five airlines have announced trials of Travel Pass, and the solution is set to launch globally in March.
(And if you’d like to learn how your organization can issue or verify COVID credentials, shoot us a note here.)
On Tuesday, Evernym joined ID2020 and 27 other organizations in launching the Good Health Pass Collaboration, an open call-to-action to help define the blueprint for safe and private digital health credentials.
As the market for digital COVID credentials continues to heat up, collaboration is more important than ever, both from a technology and a policy perspective. Good Health Pass will serve as a convener for these critical conversations while ensuring that equity, privacy, and other civil liberties are protected.
To learn more and register for tomorrow’s announcement webinar (9 am PST, Feb 11), visit www.goodhealthpass.org.
2020 was a huge year for self-sovereign identity. Early pioneers, like CULedger, continued to gain traction and real-world adoption, while new entrants entered the market with a heightened sense of urgency in response to the needs of today’s virtual world.
This article by the Sovrin Foundation showcases a few of SSI’s biggest milestones in 2020 and hints at what’s to come in 2021 and beyond.
4. Lumedic Launches New Digital Health Passport That Offers Providence Patients Secure Digital Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Status
Last week, Lumedic launched a new digital health passport solution that offers select COVID-19 vaccination sites the ability to issue patients with verifiable vaccine records, completely free-of-charge for the patient.
The solution, Lumedic Connect, leverages Evernym technology and gives patients control over their health data, including control of when and how they share this information.
In the announcement, Providence CEO Dr. Rod Hochman added: In the future, the solution “will eventually extend beyond vaccination credentials, giving patients the tools they need to make better care decisions and meeting Providence’s goals to create health for a better world.”
In a letter to senior leaders in the Biden Administration, the Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) urged U.S. government officials to lead in the issuance of W3C-defined Verifiable Credentials and in the coordination of a trust framework to ensure interoperability within the U.S.
According to LFPH’s Brian Behlendorf, “A partnership between the White House COVID-19 team, the agencies represented on the Cc, state/local PHAs and the LFPH community could result in coordinated deployments across all 50 states that appropriately leverage the innovation and drive of the private sector, build a durable shared platform, protect privacy and enhance social equity.”
The letter was drafted by participants of the COVID-19 Credentials Initiative and inspired by recent White House executive orders that called for digital credentials to ease reopening.
You can read the full letter here.
Spurred by several recent high-profile launches, self-sovereign identity is quickly entering the mainstream. The latest example of this is a New York Times article that breaks down the technology for what it calls “vaccine passports” for the average reader.
The article is an excellent summary of current digital health and travel initiatives and features quotes from several leaders in the SSI space, including Evernym, ID2020, IATA, and the Linux Foundation.
You can give it a read here.
In one of the most creative applications of verifiable credential technology to date, our partners at Crucible recently announced their plans for creating an “Open Metaverse” of interconnected online games, where players can port their verified identity from one game to another, verify ownership of digital items, and buy and sell items directly from one another (“direct-to-avatar”) rather than through centralized app stores.
According to an interview with VentureBeat, Crucible has already identified a half-dozen candidates for testing and hopes to launch a working software development kit, the Emergence SDK, by March.
One World Identity recently hosted Dr. Ann Cavoukian, the creator of the “Privacy by Design” concept, for a discussion on what data privacy and the surveillance economy look like in a post-COVID world.
The conversation touches on many topics, including the balancing act between personal privacy and the precautionary measures that were rolled out in response to COVID-19, and the shift to decentralized identity.
You can check it out here.
As increasing numbers of COVID credential solutions enter the market, we believe it’s imperative that security and privacy are never sacrificed.
Our recent blog post shines a light on a few of the well-founded concerns surrounding COVID credentials and what makes Evernym’s solution safe, private, and open.
Last but not least, Evernym and our partners at Sitekit were among a select group of digital identity companies invited to brief Matt Warman (Minister for Digital Infrastructure), Julia Lopez (Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office), and other UK governments officials on recent innovations in digital identity and their potential benefits for UK citizens.
During our presentation, we provided an update on our work with the NHS COVID-19 Digital Staff Passport deployment and the IATA Travel Pass initiative.
The UK government has been an early champion of digital identity, and we’re excited to see how these conversations progress.
Upcoming (virtual) SSI events
Good Health Pass – Launch Event (Feb 11): Please join us tomorrow (Thursday, Feb 11) at 9am PST for a webinar to introduce the newly announced Good Health Pass Collaboration
Hyperledger: An Hour with Evernym (Feb 17): The Hyperledger Foundation has invited Evernym’s Andy Tobin and James Monaghan to discuss the business benefits of SSI, popular use cases, and getting started with the tech