It has been reported that during the coronavirus pandemic, the heightened need for various biosurveillance measures sparked interest in the relevance of privacy-enhancing technologies such as blockchain that could protect public health data amid the crisis.
However, Ubirch has developed the IT infrastructure for a solution it calls the “Digital Corona Test Certificate,” as the solution supports verification of an individual’s SARS-CoV-2 status while remaining compliant with European data protection standards under the GDPR framework.
An Ubirch representative explained:
“Ubirch anchors an anonymous digital fingerprint in a blockchain. This way, an individual’s certified SARS-CoV-2 status can easily be verified by the airline at the departure gate, the arrival airport, or any other entry point by scanning a QR Code. Important to know is that at no point during the process are person-specific user data or test results visible in the blockchain.”
Likewise, the company has confirmed that the service is being used at the Centogene coronavirus testing center at Frankfurt Airport and it uses underlying technology from Iota.
The company added:
“Among others we use IOTA for making the Corona test results verifiable. […] We are working with IOTA for a while now. Our public anchors are in the main tangle for broad trust. In fact, we put trust anchors in multiple blockchains.”
As per the sources, Ubirch’s reference to “the main tangle” refers to the specific character of the Iota protocol. Digital identity solution providers have increasingly developed various products involving blockchain that is targeted for use during the pandemic, alongside special blockchain apps to provide countries with “health passport”-like solutions for easing restrictions.
Frankfurt Airport is using blockchain to verify COVID-19 test certificates for passengers. https://t.co/ppC5hlFDYm — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) January 11, 2021
Thus, some security experts remain concerned about these emerging “proof-of-health” solutions and the complexities and challenges involved in truly ensuring the integrity of millions of users’ sensitive health data.