British Tech Company Launches First Publicly Available 'Fit to Fly' Secure Health Passport for Air Travel
British cyber technology company VST Enterprises (VSTE) launches the world's first public 'fit to fly' secure health passport designed for air travel. The cross-border platform called V-Health Passport™ is available at the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching for 'VPassport' or by visiting www.v-healthpassport.co.uk.
VST Enterprises, a Manchester-based cybersecurity and technology company, is the first company in the world to have a fully functioning live health passport that can be used cross-border and across all transport by air, land and sea. V-Health Passport is a publicly available, secure, digital health passport that can be downloaded and used alongside any form of COVID-19 testing and vaccination without the use of unsecure bar codes or QR code technology. Airlines and transport carriers can also download and use the system.
The availablity of the passport comes at a time when security over the use of bar codes and QR codes in airline travel has come under intense scrutiny. The former Australian prime minister, Tony Abbot, had his Qantas airline boarding pass hacked. Details including his passport, mobile phone and messages between Qantas staff about him were intercepted. In 2018 British Airways was fined £20M for a data breach on 400,000 of its customers which affected their personal and credit-card data.
A wider threat is prevalent with a rise in the sale of fake COVID-19 certificates in Russia and the Middle East as well as an increase in black-market trade of fake COVID-19 test certificates. Travelers are potentially put at risk of being infected by other passengers using fake certificates.
The V-Health Passport uses next-generation VCode® code-scanning cybersecurity technology. Unlike other health passports, it is designed with a citizen's privacy front and center. The technology does not track live location and provides all data in a secure GDPR-compliant framework. Using the most advanced closed-loop technology with end-to-end encryption, V-Health Passport uses 2.2 quintillion collision-free combination codes which decode based on geo location, time and date, device type and user login — meaning it cannot be hacked. The secure digital passport validates the passengers’s identity and authenticates their COVID-19 test result and vaccination/immunization details in one secure app. The V-Health Passport also uniquely provides airline passengers and airlines with a contact-tracing technology which uses anonymized data.
VSTE CEO and inventor of the VCode technology and V-Health Passport, Louis-James Davis, says, "We are the first technology company in the world to have developed a secure, multipurpose, cross-corporate and cross-government digital health passport that does not rely on using bar codes or QR codes as its authentication technology. Both bar codes and QR codes have huge potential security implications as they can be cloned and hacked, with the latter being subject to a process called 'Attagging.' Therefore, any suggestion of using this type of technology in a health passport for air travel has very real security risks. Not only is a citizen’s personal information at risk, but their COVID test status, vaccination records, and also their credit card information — all of this can lead to the very real potential of a massive data-breach and a person's personal information and data hacked and stolen. This is of particular concern when using a bar code or QR code technology designed for use to authenticate a person's COVID-19 testing and/or vaccinations records."
Davis goes on to state that both bar codes and QR codes, which represent first- and second-generation technology, are unsecure and vulnerable to hacking. "QR codes were originally developed as a scanning technology for close proximity car-parts tracking," he says, "a world away from identity and banking use cases — and now digital health passports. It was then used to skip the input of websites in marketing and promotional purposes. They were never designed with security or privacy in mind...They are simply not fit for purpose and should not be used at all in any form for delivery of sensitive information, travel or event tickets, or health passport."
QR codes can be cloned and redirected to other information points or websites. Often criminals and hackers will exploit this by putting a fake QR code over a genuine QR code, redirecting to a similar site where the public is tricked into entering their personal information, private data and financial information. The rogue website looks and feels exactly like the genuine one and is made to mirror it precisely.
"VCode, which is the ultra-secure digital code which powers the V-Health Passport, cannot be cloned. Even if it was printed off, or a photograph was taken and placed over a VCode or V-Health Passport, it simply won't scan, as it works on a call-and-response system of information between the code and web platform to verify location of the code, user ID, and time and date and much more,” Davis adds. “We developed and built the V-Health Passport and health wallet to be the most secure technology on the planet that you could use as a health passport where you could combine your test status, vaccination record, boarding pass, airline ticket, music or sports ticket, all in one app. With V-Health Passport we wanted to provide functionality and greater mobility to allow citizens to return to work, be fit to fly or return to the sports stadiums. But at the heart of the technology was the ability to protect and respect data privacy of the individual. The lack of engagement and interaction by the public with government track-and-trace apps over the pandemic was over privacy, security of data and the tracking of a person's live location. This is why we have built a unique system in the vein of 'self-sovereign ID,' with the ethics of privacy and security by design. The V-Health Passport puts the citizen in control in a way which they share information with who, when and where."
V-Health Passport will help employers safely return their employees back to their offices, factories and warehouses. It will facilitate airlines with a secure boarding pass and allow passengers to demonstrate they are fit to fly, avoiding the need for quarantine restrictions. Individuals will be able to share their health pass and confirm their COVID test status or present their vaccination record. They will also be able to show their credit score, work permit or visa, as well as be able to scan their travel or event pass. At the heart of each interaction they will have peace of mind that their data and information is secure and that they control their information.
For more information on VCode and VPlatform technology, visit https://www.vstenterprises.com.
For more information on V-HEALTH Passport, visit https://v-healthpassport.co.uk.