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UN agency details new ‘digital seal’ as countries mull COVID-19 vaccine passports

UN agency details new ‘digital seal’ as countries mull COVID-19 vaccine passports
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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is paving the way for the creation of COVID-19 vaccine passports as Canada continues to mull how to approach issuing such documents.

In a press release Wednesday, the ICAO says it has made new “technical specifications for a visible digital seal.”

The ICAO said the seal stores datasets for “test and vaccination certificates” in a two-dimensional barcode which can be made of paper or “screen-based.”

“Border control and other receiving parties can verify the data against established requirements efficiently and seamlessly, including through the use of traveller self-service kiosks and processes.”

The organization said the barcode is “digitally signed” for security, “with the signature being based on the same public key cryptographic infrastructure principles already used to support ePassport issuance and authentication by more than 145 countries globally.”

ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fan Liu, said as states “attempt to reopen their borders for air travellers, they are frequently requesting passengers to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination or testing as a prerequisite for entry.”
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