Article • Beyond QR and barcodes

Sold: 50 million digital health passports

A British cyber security company, VST Enterprises has signed a contract with international digital health technology firm Circle Pass Enterprises (CPE), owner of ‘Covi-Pass’, to supply 50 million of its ‘digital health passports’ to 15 countries.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

VST was founded by tech entrepreneur Louis-James Davis to integrate its state-of-the-art VCode & VPlatform technologies into the Covi-Pass Digital Health Passport, which will be paired with approved testing kits.

female hand holding smartphone

Image source: Shutterstock/SFIO CRACHO

Put simply, the user downloads the app to their smartphone device and uploads his/her key information, such as name, address, age. Their identity is then verified using a biometric fingerprint or facial scan. A COVID-19 test is then carried out by an authorised healthcare professional, nurse or medical doctor. The test is geo-fenced to that location ­– using GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to set a virtual boundary around a geographical location – and the test results are then scanned from the testing kit into the Covi-Pass Health Passport.

A colour mapping system (green, amber, red) authenticates and provides the COVID-19 test history and relevant health information, so the accurate data metrics can assess those who have tested positive and negative and the location only of their testing. The user can then show the Covi-Pass to authenticate their health status. ‘A traffic light system confirms their health status as either red or green, red for positive and green for negative,’ the company points out. ‘The amber colour indicates a countdown timer to when another test would be due and required. The Covi-Pass can be used as an authenticated gateway for public services, businesses and employees to manage a safe return to work, life, and safe travel. One of the many unique features of the VCode cyber security,’ adds CPE c-founder Adam Palmer, ‘is that the technology can be scanned from up to 100 metres, ensuring its social distancing compliance is robust and making it the only choice for a safe and secure digital health passport.’ Plus, CPE points out, scanning is viable while the person is moving and at various angles.’

Shipping begins

We firmly believe that the digital health passport, alongside government approved testing kits, is the key to removing the lockdown restrictions in a gradual and controlled way

Louis-James Davis

Shipping has begun for the first phased release of these 50 million digital health passports to the private sector and Governments in over 15 countries, including Italy, Portugal, France, Panama, India, the US, Canada, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and The Netherlands, the company reports. ‘We firmly believe that the digital health passport, alongside government approved testing kits, is the key to removing the lockdown restrictions in a gradual and controlled way,’ Davis believes, adding: ‘The current technology being trialled using Bluetooth and proximity apps is fundamentally flawed because of its privacy issues of real time tracking, the security and data breaches which we are already seeing and being reported and the reticence for citizens to uptake and download the tracing app.’

Existing health passport problems

‘The technology used in contact tracing and Bluetooth proximity apps currently being used by various Governments is fundamentally flawed,’ Davis believes. ‘Not only can the Bluetooth app and its data be compromised and hacked, but it can also lead to false flag data. There are also real fundamental issues of privacy, and being tracked in real time, which most citizens will resist at all levels. This will also contribute to anxiety about the technology thus resulting in poor uptake. Without 100% uptake of the population using the technology its data is ineffective, and does not give a true picture of the virus tracing. Add into this the fact that Bluetooth can also penetrate glass and walls. So someone for example, who is self-isolating in a house that has tested positive for COVID-19 would give off a false flag to someone walking past their house who has tested negative, that they had been in proximity to someone who has tested positive.’

‘At present, the problem with other health passports is not only that the feed of information is voluntary, but the technology being used (in most cases a QR code or barcode) can’t be interacted with outside of the safe distancing zone,’ Davis adds. ‘Data and sensitive information scanned or stored in either a QR code and barcode can be hacked and are inherently insecure, leaving data and personal details to be compromised. Both barcodes and QR codes are old second generation technology. VCode & VPlatform represent the next “third generation” of ultra-secure and versatile code technology to military grade encryption with over 2 Quintillion code permutations.’

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Cyber-tech for NHS

The Manchester-based company also mentions advanced discussions with senior UK Government officials, NHSX the technology arm of the NHS and the Home Office about its cyber security technology. The cyber security technology developed by VSTE can be used by various sectors including critical care workers, doctors, nurses and health workers in the National Health Service and blue light emergency services key workers. Using a VCode integrated with a health passport would help get them back on the front line in a safe and controlled manner, VSTE believes. VSTE also report the provision of its VCode & VPlatform technology to work with the United Nations as part of their SDG Collaboratory (Sustainable Development Goals) program - to provide a wide range of technology services to 9 Billion people by 2030, to be announced soon.


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