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Could a biometric COVID-19 passport revitalise the economy?

February 2021 by Vince Graziani, CEO of IDEX Biometrics ASA

Following ongoing discussions around COVID-19 vaccine passports and plans for the UK Government to reconsider the notion of a ‘freedom pass’ to help reopen travel and business, Vince Graziani CEO of IDEX Biometrics ASA, discusses how a fingerprint biometric COVID-19 passport can help to revitalise and begin the safe transition to society.

Vince Graziani, CEO of IDEX Biometrics ASA comments:

"To help begin the safe transition to society, biometric authentication is going to play a significant role in enabling people to reliably prove they’ve had the coronavirus vaccine to get into sports events and concerts, and help restore economies. Using fingerprint biometrics would enable consumers to confirm their identity, on any device, and it will also help to inform ongoing COVID restrictions across the globe. If people can reliably prove they have been vaccinated, then theatres, music venues, sporting venues etc., that have been closed since March last year, can all reopen to the public and provide a significant boost to the global economy.

“However, these digital interactions must be secure, intelligent, and efficient. The answer can be found in a digital identity powered by fingerprint biometric authentication technology. The prime objective of a COVID-19 passport is to unequivocally tie the individual to their immunity information, there is no better way to do so than by physically connecting those two aspects though the unique fingerprint.

“Fingerprint authentication is an immediate and undeniable verification of the individual person. Many of us unlock our smartphones in that exact way, as a drastically improved method to authenticate identity. In a COVID-19 context, fingerprint biometrics can be incorporated into a singular, unified digital ID to unquestionably prove that people have been either tested negative or, even more ideally looking forward, have received the coronavirus vaccine. As these immunisations become commonplace, the rush to prove your safeness will require proof, and this is an ideal way to do so without compromising any other personal details.”

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