Novel Immunity Passports for Covid-19

Lead Participant: Eyn Limited

Abstract

Governments around the globe are currently using/trialing proximity tracking apps to trace people infected with Covid-19\. Apple and Google collaboratively developed tracing techniques that shall be soon available and is expected to cover 99% of smartphone users.

Due to the sensitive nature of tracing apps, preserving a user's privacy is essential. As a consequence, the PEPP-PT project (a partnership of 130 scientists, technologists, and experts of institutions and companies across eight EU countries) is developing techniques to ensure an individual's privacy.

While tracing is an important step (to detect and inform) members of the public of the virus spread (and if they should self-isolate), another, equally important step is the possibility of proving one's immunity status -- via vaccination or antibody test -- once they have surpassed the disease.

To ensure the safe return of anyone infected with Covid-19 into public spaces (and/or crowded spaces such as public transport, schools, workplaces, airports), it is therefore of utmost importance to securely, accurately and in a privacy-preserving manner to allow someone to prove their immunity status.

A generic way of achieving such a purpose is to link one's identity via existing identity documents (eg. passports, residence permits, driving licenses) to their immunity status (issued by a certified provider such as the NHS). Such 'immunity certificates' must ascertain the identity of its holder and their immunity status. 'Immunity certificates' are already in wide discussion within the UK government (and, other governments around the globe, as well as other providers).

A much simpler (and, more accurate and privacy preserving way) is to use face biometrics instead of linking to identity documents (e.g. passport, driving license) or patient records. We simply aim to link face-biometry with immunity status. Such a system resolves four core issues: \[a\] fraud (ie. nobody can steal your face and your face is not a secret); \[b\] asserts the identity of an individual (ie. removes the intermediary step of an id document); \[c\] available offline (ie. does not need to be connected to the Internet); and \[d\] preserve's one's privacy (ie. storage of encrypted face biometry without linkage to other personally identifiable information).

In the UK alone, it is estimated that over 1.5 million vulnerable people will be the worst affected by this crisis (with recent news suggesting lockdown procedures until 2022). In order to protect them and other members of the public, let's take a step towards proving immunity.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Eyn Limited £49,261 £ 46,798

Publications

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