Canada to Test International Blockchain-Based ID System

The Canadian government will experiment with an airport system that will help travelers share personal data in advance. The project was launched at the WEF.

The Canadian government has become part of a digital ID and border security project in which travelers will share their digitized IDs with airports and authorities beforehand. The project, called Known Traveller Digital Identity, was presented at recent meetings at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Canada will work with the WEF and its partners.

Known Traveller Digital Identity aims to apply innovative technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and biometrics to enhance security, simplify traveling procedures, and address efficiently cyber-terrorism threats, according to the WEF.

The Transport Canada state department is on the list of partners that also includes government agencies such as the US Department of Homeland Security and the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, as well as companies like Visa, Accenture, Google, and Hilton Worldwide. The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) will also take part in the project.

The system will work with an app where people can keep and share personal data with authorities before traveling. Canadian citizens could store their resident card, proof of different vaccinations, university degrees, a list of visited places, and more. Besides the app, the system will also use biometric data to help authorities streamline the screening process. All personal information will be held on the blockchain.

John Moavenzadeh, head of the WEF’s Mobility System Initiative, was cited as saying:

“With travellers providing access to verified personal biometric, biographic and historical travel data at their discretion, they can assist authorities to undertake risk assessments and pre-screening in advance: essentially verifying their identities and providing secure and seamless movement throughout their journey using biometric recognition technology.”

The system is expected to undergo tests in more pilots, including one where Canada will be working together with the Netherlands to apply it in airports.

Canada’s transportation minister Marc Garneau said the project would “provide opportunities to make security for air travel more efficient while improving the traveller experience.”

Earlier, we reported that Toronto-based ID and authentication company SecureKey Technologies was collaborating with IBM to build a digital identity network where citizens can verify their IDs.