In brief

  • Health and data experts from three EU firms are developing a decentralized "Covid-19 health passport."
  • All three companies have previously worked with their governments on various projects.
  • The developers claim that their system poses no risk to personal privacy and is fully compliant with the GDPR.

Three European companies are jointly developing a blockchain-based “Covid-19 health passport." The passport will help governments to monitor the population’s state of immunity in real-time.

The passport will be updated with coronavirus test results. If you have the coronavirus, that result will be timestamped (to ensure it can't be falsified) and updated in real-time.

It will run on the KSI blockchain developed by Estonian blockchain company Guardtime. Swiss security company SICPA; and French health platform OpenHealth, which maintains a database of 20 million French patients, are also working on the project.

The system will be used to create unfalsifiable health certificates based on antibody test results. Image: SICPA“The KSI Blockchain will make it impossible to falsify and the health data on these certificates will be used by the OpenHealth platform to follow the evolution of deconfinement and management of the crisis, following the model of flu pandemics,” SICPA wrote in a press release.

Participants need only a smartphone or a computer to sign up, and all personal data is anonymized. No central database maintains the patient records, said SICPA.

 

As Decrypt reported previously, numerous governments around the world began to roll out increasingly intrusive mass surveillance systems in an attempt to slow the coronavirus pandemic. Some tech experts are warning that government-run coronavirus apps are a privacy disaster in the making.

If implemented across Europe, patients must trust that the GDPR is resilient enough.