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Release of the Good Health Pass (GHP) Interoperability Blueprint

By News

The Trust Over IP (ToIP) Foundation together with the Good Health Pass Collaborative (GHPC) today announced the release of the Good Health Pass (GHP) Interoperability Blueprint V1.0.0 (PDF). Produced by over 125 participating companies and organizations spanning global travel, health, cybersecurity, privacy, and government, the Blueprint is an urgently needed solution that describes how to unify the widely disparate set of digital vaccination certificate solutions on the market.

“Over the past several months, different vaccination certificate formats have been announced by at least a dozen different governments, health authorities, and industry consortia around the world, including the European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate and the World Health Organisation’s Digital Document of COVID-19 Certificates,” said John Jordan, Executive Director of the ToIP Foundation. “Each of these is good and valuable in its own right, however because they are designed to be digital health documents, they share more information than is necessary simply to prove one’s COVID-19 status for purposes of travel or entry to a venue. The Good Health Pass Blueprint was designed from the ground up to provide an international trust framework that addresses the need for a simple, secure, standard, privacy-preserving health pass that works anywhere you need to prove your health status, just like a mobile boarding pass works with any airline.”

The Good Health Pass effort began with the Good Health Pass Collaborative (GHPC) organized by ID2020, a non-profit organization focused on ethical digital identity. In February 2021, GHPC published the Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint Outline, which specified the key problems that needed to be solved and the core design principles that needed to be followed. GHPC then formed a partnership with the ToIP Foundation to launch the Interoperability Working Group for Good Health Pass. Working Group leadership and cross-industry expertise were also contributed by Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH), particularly its COVID Credentials Initiative (CCI). This combined effort resulted in a fully open and transparent process that created the full Blueprint in under eight weeks.

After a public review period during June with stakeholders in air travel, government, healthcare, hospitality, and other affected sectors, the Blueprint was finalized in mid-July for final approval and publication. “Publication of the V1.0.0 Blueprint is just the first step in seeing interoperable privacy preserving digital health passes adopted in order to support people being able to gather together again with lower personal and public health risk,” said Kaliya Young, chair of the Working Group and Ecosystems Director at CCI. “Our next task is collaborating with real world implementers to fill in any remaining gaps to get to an interoperable system and working with LFPH and other partners to deliver open source code that can be deployed.”

Judith Fleenor, Director of Strategic Engagements at the ToIP Foundation, adds “The best news is that the Good Health Pass Blueprint does not compete with or replace any of the publicly announced COVID-19 health certificates. It is compatible with all of them—and others still to come. With the right software, all those health certificates can be ingested and verified in order to issue a Good Health Pass-compliant health pass. This focus on interoperability will make life much simpler and safer for both users and verifiers.”

The ToIP Foundation is especially proud of this effort because it demonstrates how applying the core principles of interoperable digital trust architecture solves global problems and builds confidence in solutions that have data integrity, portability, and confidentiality built-in. This is the fundamental motivation for creating the ToIP Stack, the ToIP Foundation’s model for developing privacy-preserving, interoperable, and decentralized digital identity solutions that form and sustain digital trust relationships.

The high-speed collaboration enabled by the Interoperability Working Group for Good Health Pass also illustrates the value of the antitrust and royalty-free intellectual property rights protections that all our Working Groups enjoy as a Linux Foundation (LF) project. “Good Health Pass is a textbook example of the kind of project the LF was formed to support,” said Brian Behlendorf, LF General Manager of Healthcare, Blockchain, and Identity. “Being able to bring together this many global experts to work so intensively in such a short period is unprecedented—and shows the kind of confidence that the LF has built in an open public collaboration process.”

We encourage you to review the Blueprint, endorse it, and adopt it—and to join the Interoperability Working Group for Good Health Pass if you would like to collaborate with other industry leaders in creating the world’s first privacy-preserving health credential interoperability framework.

Good Health Pass Collaborative Releases Draft Blueprint for Digital Health Passes in Advance of G7 Summit

By Blog, News

In an effort to restore global travel and restart the global economy, the Good Health Pass Collaborative today announced the release of the eagerly-anticipated Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint.

The Blueprint – released today in draft form for a three-week period of stakeholder consultations and public comment – is intended to stimulate discussion at the G7 Summit, which will open Friday in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, UK.

This announcement follows on a May 18 letter, sent by the Good Health Pass Collaborative to G7 leaders, urging them to adopt a statement of principles for digital health passes. The letter also called for the formation of a working group – composed of senior ministerial staff from G7, G20, and European Union health and transport ministries – with the task of reaching international consensus on standards by July 16.

Unprecedented global collaboration – between governments, nonprofits, universities, and the private sector – propelled the rapid development and distribution of highly effective COVID vaccines. A similar level of collaboration is urgently needed to ensure that verifiable digital health passes for international travel can be issued and universally accepted worldwide by airlines, border control agencies, and others.

Most governments already require proof of travelers’ COVID status – either through a recent negative test or, increasingly, proof of vaccination– as a precondition of entry. While dozens of solutions have been rushed to market to meet this growing demand, they vary greatly in the extent to which they protect user privacy and security and enable individuals to control access to their personal health information.

The absence of internationally recognized, consensus-based open standards – to which all solutions adhere – could leave individuals uncertain about the security and privacy of their data and even unsure of whether their health pass will be accepted for travel.

“Digital health passes offer our best hope to safely, confidently, and promptly restore global travel and restart the global economy – but only if they are widely trusted and adopted by the public and universally accepted by airlines and border control agencies,” said ID2020 executive director, Dakota Gruener. “The standards proposed in the Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint will make it possible for digital health pass systems around the world to be interoperable with one another, thus creating a trusted, convenient, and seamless experience for travelers as well as for airlines, airports, and border control agencies.”

Restoring international travel is vital to restarting the global economy. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that 61.6 million tourism-related jobs worldwide have been lost as a result of the pandemic. In 2020, travel and tourism contributions to global GDP decreased by 49.1%, a loss of $4.5 trillion (USD), nearly 18 times the impact experienced during the 2009 global financial crisis.

Under normal circumstances, it would take years to develop standards for digital health passes.

In February, ID2020 launched the Good Health Pass Collaborative, a multi-sector, global initiative to establish guiding principles for digital health passes and dramatically streamline the standards development process. Within weeks, the Collaborative grew from 25 partners to more than 125 companies and organizations from across the health, travel, and technology sectors.

Nine “drafting groups”, bringing together more than 120 experts from the health, travel, and technology sectors were managed through a partnership with the Trust Over IP Foundation the Covid-19 Credentials Initiative and Linux Foundation Public Health – all projects of the Linux Foundation.

The resulting Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint addresses – in considerable depth and detail – nine technical and interoperability challenges around which global consensus must be reached:

  • Design principles
  • Creating a consistent user experience
  • Standard data models and elements
  • Credential formats, signatures, and exchange protocols
  • Security, privacy, and data protection
  • Trust registries
  • Rules engines
  • Identity binding (ensuring the authenticity of the holder)
  • Governance

“This draft blueprint is historic, both in its depth and breadth of proposed standards, as well as the number of expert volunteers who contributed their time to its development,” said Gruener. “When we partnered with the Trust Over IP Foundation, we committed to an open and inclusive process. Releasing the draft for public comment today takes that commitment a step further. We felt this was incredibly important, given the range of public and private entities expected to play a role in the issuance and acceptance of digital health passes and the need to build public trust and support their adoption.”

The UK government – in its capacity as president of the G7 – has identified “leading the global recovery from coronavirus, while strengthening our resilience against further pandemic” as the highest policy priority for this 47th G7 Summit. International agreement on principles and standards for digital health passes are critical to achieving this policy priority.

About ID2020

ID2020 is a global public-private partnership that harnesses the collective power of nonprofits, corporations, and governments to promote the adoption and implementation of user-managed, privacy-protecting and portable digital ID solutions.

By developing and applying rigorous technical standards to certify identity solutions, providing advisory services and implementing pilot programs, and advocating for the ethical implementation of digital ID, ID2020 is strengthening social and economic development globally. Alliance partners are committed to a future in which all of the world’s seven billion people can fully exercise their basic human rights, while ensuring data remains private and in the hands of the individual.